After taking over the music world with Die Antwoord and recently starring alongside Ninja in the movie ‘Chappie’, let’s remember how Yo-landi Visser first took over fashion with her personal style.
Text: Iliana Deligiorgi
The definition Yolandi gives to her music, style, way of living is entirely linked to ZEF. It’s difficult to define what the word exactly stands for, but for the South African vocalist of Die Antwoord, it’s something you can’t explain, you have to experience it. It’s not for poor people only, nor for the rich. It’s about having style without necessarily having money, looking fancy without necessarily buying fancy. In an attempt to define it, it’s a modern version of the British chavs, a subculture that makes cheaper stuff look good. Feeling that with their music, Die Antwood represent the African culture, Yonaldi herself represents the ZEF culture born in the streets of Johannesburg, where she spent part of her life. You don’t have to love it, you can as well hate her style. You don’t even have to like the Alexander Wang collection in which Yolandi and Ninja starred. Still, it doesn’t mean a thing to her, because her ZEF style is there to serve her and herself only or to complete the ZEF in Die Antwood.
There are many standards in the way Yolandi is dressed for her stage appearances, which are closer to what common people dress like, what one can find in a thrift shop and not a style for the elite. Golden leggings, neon colours, shorts and crop tops in neon colours or just in black and white with logos and words all over them. Then there are of course those plastic and colourful watches. Another major point in her style? The colour pink. The colour which she turns into a powerful colour as well, putting it out of the context and giving it a new meaning, relevant to her persona.
“You don’t have to love it. You’re just not in that level yet.” – Yo-landi Visser
And, of course, we all remember this campaign for Alexander Wang back in 2012: