Siya Beyile’s path to fashion fame and fortune has been a winding one. At the age of 24, the fashion-blogger-turned-entrepreneur who can list more career ups and downs than many more experienced figures in the industry, believes he’s about to shake up the luxury fashion retail market in South Africa.
Beyile’s life as a fashion blogger started in high school. As a scholarship pupil at Wynberg Boys High, he remembers looking at glossy magazines and telling his mother the fashion media simply didn’t understand the needs of less affluent shoppers who wanted to look stylish on a budget.
Fashion-design school wasn’t a success, and with a passion for trends and the sharing of style advice, Beyile decided to go the blogging route and set up The Threaded Man.
The blog exploded and soon Beyile was one of the go-to fashion names for brands wanting to make their mark on the millennial fashion scene in South Africa.
But an unhappy end to a business partnership and a realisation that he needed to separate his business and his personal brand meant Beyile needed to make some changes. Finances took a knock, but Beyile won back 100% of his business and in 2016 Forbes Africa named him as one of its notable 30 under 30.
Forbes Africa named him as one of its notable 30 under 30
One of the most impressive feathers in Beyile’s fashion hat is being approached by Boss by Hugo Boss to be an ambassador for the brand, and he regularly attends the luxury German maison’s collections in Europe.
The next step in Beyile’s fashion evolution is the launch of The 7/12 Group. The African fashion portal inspired by the success of online mega success stories Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter is set to open in September.
The 7/12 Group will be a retail portal not only for South African fashion, but for Beyile’s collaborations with some of the world’s leading luxury brands. Hugo is already on board and Beyile says he has met Christian Dior and Chanel about future collaborations.
“I want to create an authentic South African fashion brand that is about telling the story of my culture — like the style that inspired me most: my mom and my grandma.
“I’ve been studying what makes the leading brands in the world successful, and it’s the ones who stick to their authentic story.”
DESTINATION I’ve just returned from the Amalfi Coast — it’s the most perfect place in the world. People are completely unpretentious: it’s all about family and family businesses are all over. From the wine, to the shoes to the restaurants, the level of authentic artisanship is incredible
BOOK Zero to One by Peter Thiel has inspired me to think differently about change. Just because you are travelling to the future, does not mean you are changing. What changes things is the steps you take to make a change. There is a second book that has had a profound impact on me: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra.
MOST TREASURED STYLE ITEM? My grandmother’s white 1960 Yves Saint Laurent jacket — I think it is fur. I have had it for years and years and have never worn it myself, but its beauty has inspired me for as long as I can remember.