A mix of local and international peppered with a blend of old and new design exemplifies Odysseus Shirindza’s dressing philosophy.
The creative, originally from Tzaneen, studied fashion design in Durban and then migrated to the Mother City, where he began a career as a designer for women’s fashion for a retailer. Now he’s an operations manager for Gallery Momo in Johannesburg, and counts the city as an inspiration and one of his favourites. Luckily for Shirindza, he’s a collector, and so much of his fashion inspiration comes from his finds.
“Most of my fabrics begin life as a scarf,” he says. Case in point: the beautifully printed cotton shirt he wears. “Good friends gave this fabric to me as a gift on returning from India and I transformed it into a simple shift shirt,” he says. Shirindza doesn’t like conforming to a particular uniform; rather, his style continues to evolve. “I’m a bit of a chameleon myself, so I don’t hold people down to a particular style,” he says. And when it comes to style icons? “There are some iconic moments that have made me go: ‘That’s how you wear clothes!’ I love the sensibility of Giorgio Armani and my boss, Monna Mokoena, too, is a style inspiration.”
Shirindza also favours local brands. “I try to wear them as much as possible — also to dispel the myth that you can only look good or professional in international brands.“ He also likes to experiment with different looks. “I know guys generally hold themselves ransom to a particular style,” he says, but thankfully, Shirindza’s eclectic and tailored style proves he does not.
Brown blazer: A wool melton Roy Robson vintage find in Melville — “I love good tailoring”. Trousers: Massimo Dutti, work-wear trousers bought in Italy. White shirt: a Woolworths basic and great layering item. Printed shirt: made by Shirindza from imported fabric — “I love how it’s quite Pan-African, even though its from India.” Socks: MaXhosa by Laduma in Ikawsi Zam. Trainers: Maria McCloy — “These are my weakness: I can’t resist buying these brightly printed shoes at Market on Main.” Green jade ring — a gift from a friend.
Favourite City: I’ve been fortunate enough to live in Cape Town, Durban, and now Joburg. All three cities have something different to offer, but Joburg is the city for me, for the moment. It’s vibrant, cosmopolitan, engaging; it’s got great
people, and great opportunity and work ethic.
Fragrance: I love very strong, masculine scents. For this winter I was wearing Jil Sander (I love the subtlety of it), and I sometimes pick Christian Dior’s Farenheit. Issey Miyake and Comme de Garcons scents would also be in my goodie bag of picks.
Favourite Restaurant: Gemelli in Bryanston — I know Alessandro Khojane from Durban, and I’m very proud of how he is doing there.
Grooming: From an early age I’ve taken into consideration the things I use on my skin. At the moment I’m using a hair and beard oil I just discovered called Coiled Up. I also have my hair trimmed in Maboneng every four to six weeks.
Favourite Cocktail: The Turkish Delight from tasha’s.
Currently Reading: I like to read more than one book at a time and two on my nightstand at the moment are Yolisa Qunta’s Writing What We Like: a New Generation Speaks and Percy Mabandu’s Yakhal’ Inkomo.
On Prints: I still enjoy making clothes, and I’m loving prints at the moment; I’ve never worn them as much as I am now.