At just 25 years old, Rantlhane has made a name for himself as a seasoned stylist and creative professional, having recently collaborated with notable personalities like Bonang Matheba and Swanky Jerry on the popular Netflix series, Young, Famous & African (YFA).
From his early days in marketing to his transition into styling, in this MH exclusive we explore Obakeng Rantlhane’s journey, his experiences styling renowned figures, his style inspiration, and his insights on fashion trends. Join us as we uncover the exciting career trajectory of this talented individual and get a glimpse of what’s to come in the world of Obakeng Rantlhane.
MH: Can you walk us through your career journey?
Obakeng Rantlhane: After completing my BCom Economics degree, I had the opportunity to work at a marketing agency. During that time, I also worked part-time as an assistant stylist. After a year in the marketing agency, I decided to leave my 9-5 job when I was offered the position of head stylist for Season 5 of the show “Living The Dream With Somizi” on Showmax. Since then, numerous doors have opened, allowing me to style industry legends such as Bonang Matheba, Pearl Thusi, Khanyi Mbau, and many more.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career trajectory?
The most challenging aspect has been proving myself as a newcomer in the industry. I’ve had to work diligently to earn recognition and establish my name and work within the industry.
Who do you draw inspiration from when it comes to style?
I don’t have a specific style icon and I find inspiration from various sources. I watch a lot of runway shows that influence my style and help me create mood boards for clients. The everyday street style also inspires me.
READ MORE: How To Style This Season’s Hottest Colours
Tell us about your experience styling the cast of Young, Famous & African.
I had the opportunity to style Bonang Matheba for two out of three episodes of the show, and it was a tremendous learning experience. I had been a fan of her style for many years, but I quickly realized that I needed to understand her specific preferences. Bonang is a perfectionist who knows what works best for her and her body. She provided invaluable feedback, whether it was requesting a tighter fit or a shorter hemline.
After Bonang left the show, I had the pleasure of styling the amazing Swanky. Styling Swanky was a fun experience, as it felt like I was styling my fashion Godfather. He guided me throughout the process, allowing me to express my creativity while also providing feedback on the looks. I learned a great deal from that experience and stepped out of my comfort zone.
Who was your favourite cast member to style?
I enjoyed styling each talent to a certain extent and learned different things from each of them. It’s hard for me to choose a specific favourite.
With the colder days approaching, what are the essential wardrobe items one should have?
Basic essentials that offer versatility are crucial. A coat is a definite necessity as it allows for layering options. Accessories like scarves can add dimension to your look.
Any winter trends we should keep an eye out for?
Colossal collars from the ’80s are making a comeback! Perfectly tailored garments with oversized collars were seen in the ready-to-wear style of Prada’s Fall ’23 collection. Additionally, oversized coats with an anime-inspired aesthetic are a trend to watch, as demonstrated by Saint Laurent’s Fall ’23 collection.
Are there any local brands that deserve more recognition?
I’m a big fan of Nao Serati, Lukhanyo Mdingi, and Mmusomaxwell.
They say “Summer bodies are built in winter.” What is your go-to winter fitness routine?
I have a love-hate relationship with cardio, but it’s my go-to form of exercise. I also enjoy incorporating light weights into my routines, although my new personal trainer might change things up.
Do you have a skincare regimen for winter?
As someone with eczema, my skin becomes extremely dry and sensitive during winter. Moisture is vital, so I switch to a more hydrating moisturiser compared to the less oily one I use in summer. And of course, I never forget to apply sunscreen.
How do you prioritise your mental well-being?
My job involves being around many people, so it can sometimes be overwhelming for an introvert like me. To take care of my mental well-being, I make sure to spend time alone whenever possible. This allows me to reflect, meditate, and recharge. Additionally, going to the spa for some downtime is one of my favourite ways to relax and take care of myself.
What can we expect from you in 2023? Any exciting upcoming projects?
I recently joined the Courvoisier family, and I’m thrilled about the journey we’re embarking on and the future collaborations ahead. I’m also excited about making a humble yet significant impact in the industry and becoming one of the leading voices of influence.
Follow Obakeng Rantlhane on Instagram for more.