Celebrating Him

This Father’s Day, we bring you men to learn from, look up to, admire, and aspire to – in life and in style.

So many of our conceptions of fatherhood are outdated, from what we imagine a dad to look like, all the way to the idea that a biological connection is needed to form a paternal bond: as anyone who’s had an uncle, big brother or mentor step in when a dad couldn’t or wouldn’t be present can tell you that much. In the run-up to Father’s Day this year, we gave some thought to who really earns the title of “dad”, and just who we’re celebrating on 20 June – so we invited a range of men who fill the role of father figure to tell us their thoughts, and while we were about it, gave their style an update. 

 

Father & Father | Tebogo Thothela & Theophilus Thothela

“Fashion is a confidence builder,” says Tebogo Thothela. “It’s that hype man I need when I am going through a tough period.” The looks we chose to celebrate him and his dad, Theophilus, are all about feel-good, easy sophistication: we assembled classic key pieces that are likely to become firm favourites. Pieces like the shearling jacket Tebogo wears can be worn year in and year out, while the polo neck it’s paired with gives the look an updated, effortless silhouette. 

“For me, fashion is a form of expression,” Tebogo continues. “When you look good, you feel good. Equally as important is the fact that it helps me not look like my problems. I could be having the worst day but if I am dressed well, I get through it a lot easier.” Making it a little easier for Tebogo to show up and face his challenges is a pretty important attribute, as it turns out. When the conversation turned to what it means to be a dad in 2021, the topic of showing up came up again. “For me, being a father is about being present,” says Tebogo.“It’s a conscious decision to play an active role in your children’s lives. It’s about constantly showing up physically, financially and emotionally.”

 

Father & Daughter | Kuthulakwe-Nkosi Siboto & Bayete Siboto

“God, Family, Music, Food, Fashion. That is how I connect with fashion,” says Kuthulakwe-Nkosi Siboto, voiceover artist and one half of Darkie Fiction. Explaining why his connection to style runs so deep, he continues, “I relied on fashion to pursue my dreams in music,” says Kuthalakwe-Nkosi. “Before leaving home to chase my dreams in Cape Town, my sister and I ran a thrift store while I was still living at home in what was then Port Elizabeth, which I eventually took to Cape Town. Fashion kept me afloat. When I had nothing, I had fashion.” 

 

Today, Kuthulakwe-Nkosi’s life is looking full. In addition to his growing musical success, he’s a very proud dad to Bayethe, a bundle of joy better known as ‘Baza’ to her nearest and dearest. “Being a father is simply my greatest achievement in life,” he says. “It’s made me a better version of myself knowing that decisions I make for my life directly impact my child’s life and future, and that makes me want to constantly improve who I am.”

To celebrate him, we chose looks well-suited to life as a young dad: the cool factor is dialled all the way up in the season’s favourite ski-inspired pieces, but there’s comfort and practicality there, too. We piled on the texture, and the layers. When you’re the one making sure everyone is keeping warm, why not lead by example? 

Dad looks pretty good, and Bayete holds her own in frills and dots dressed by Soda Bloc

 

Community Leader | Lungile Jamani

“Fashion is a supplement – or rather a symbolism – of who I am,” says Lungile Jamani, co-founder of mentorship organisation Man in Boy. “It plays a role of communicating my personality and character before I even utter a word.” Lungile, it should be said, is a man of great character: he’s devoted to enabling boys to become the men that society needs, challenging the negative aspects of masculinity. 

As society has important, long-overdue conversations about gender and what it means to be a man, another question on our minds is what it really means to be a father. It’s clear that in 2021, fatherhood goes well beyond sharing genes or a last name, but then what is it about? Lungile has an eloquent answer. “It means I have the opportunity to be a good example to those who look up to me as their father figure,” he says. 

The outfits we chose for Lungile are designed to look good while putting in work: they’re practical pieces assembled to make cosy winter ensembles that can easily be mixed and matched to take on whatever the day brings. But, as Lungile demonstrates, it’s worth putting some deeper thought into everyday choices, so our selections were informed by something else he told us: “Fashion is the expression of my feelings,” he says. “If I feel down I wear bright colours, if I feel great I wear dark colours, a juxtaposition of feelings portrayed through fashion.” With the potential to be easily switched up, we hope that these looks elevate the bad days and celebrate the best ones. 

SHOP THE LOOK & CELEBRATE HIM HERE

Yours in Style.

MARKHAM