GEM TALK WITH NATASHA NDLOVU, BISOUS NATASHA FOUNDER & MODEL
The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Ulra.
Name: Natasha Ndlovu
Alma Mater: BA in Visual Arts from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Occupation: Bisous Natasha founder, Entrepreneur and Model
Hometown: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Languages: English, Ndebele, Spanish, French, whilst also currently learning Russian
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: We are having a champagne afternoon tea at Royal Opera House, whilst looking at Boodles new collection inspired by the Royal ballet dancers. Covent Garden is a lovely area. My modelling agency is based here. London Fashion week takes place nearby. Balthazar is one of my new favourite place to eat. It is vibrant and bustling: a lot of people come through here. Having done an undergraduate degree in Art in Vancouver, I love visiting art galleries in London. Tate Modern is my favourite – I love the space and a dizzying array of modern art on display. There are also some great ones on Albermarle and Bond streets.
IN THE BEGINNING: I was scouted by a modelling agency when I was 14 in South Africa. My mother told me I ought to wait until I was 16. At first modelled on the side, but as I got older, I did it more and more. I studied arts, and I always did a variety of things to supplement the income. When I moved to London from Canada, I fell into blogging on the side form modelling.
WILD WISH: To travel to amazon, to interact with a secluded tribe that has interacted very little with the outside world. To meet people who have not been exposed to internet and social media.
BISOUS NATASHA: Bisous pronounced “bee zoo” ! On my blog I write about fashion, photography, beauty and travel, as well as shares my experiences working in the fashion industry. I am fortunate that Bisous Natasha has gone on to be featured in many print and online magazines such as Vanity Fair, British Vogue, Company Magazine and Hunger Magazine. I have collaborated with many exciting brands includingBoodles, Jimmy Choo, All Saints, Topshop and ASOS.
SOTHEBY’S OR CHRISTIE’S: Sotheby’s, but I am biased since I worked there! I interned in Russian Art department for six months, while at the same time undertaking a Russian language course. I studied art in Vancouver, so I wanted to tie in my knowledge with learning a language. While there, I was helping to prepare for semi-annual art sales, doing a bit of admin now and then. The atmosphere was really nice, and not stuffy and old like I envisaged.
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: Chanel! My personal signifier is nice jackets. There is a Balmain jacket I am head over heels in love with. I always protect it when I hang it in my closet. It still has a seal and everything else on it. And I have a nice assortment of cute Topshop and Zara clothes. Shoes are a big part of my wardrobe, of course. I currently love sneakers. To be honest, I never thought I would, but I am now a little obsessed! Today I am wearing Topshop shorts, supertrash blouse, Zara jacket, Prada hand bag. I like to mix high end and high street.
ONLINE SHOPPING: I love it! ASOS is favourite place to shop online: you can see models on the catwalk, and I can immediately ask myself, do I like the way clothes move on the model? Net-A-Porter is also great. However, whenever I feel going in store, I do so early in the morning, because I love the feeling of having the store to myself.
DEPOP: I define myself as an entrepreneur, since I like diversifying my sources of income. In addition to blogging and modelling, I also sell vintage clothes I source from my travels and East London through Asos Marketplace and Depop. My clothes are priced between £20 and £50 to make them affordable for young girls.
GEM STYLE: Minimal with a hint of intricate design around it. When it comes to rings, it can vary from thin stackable rings to a ring with a big stone on it.
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: Jewellery is an extra element to accentuate your outfit. You put it on just before you go out. Clothes are more simple, you put them on and go. But for jewellery, you have to think how it will fit in, how others will see it. Is your long necklace going to be hidden underneath your t-shirt, or should you wear it over your t-shirt? You wear clothes, whereas with jewellery you are parading yourself a little. Almost like a peacock!
FIRST JEWELLERY: Signet ring I am wearing right now. I always remember liking them, but I used to think they were only for men. However, this particular ring was made especially for me at a vintage store on ??? It is currently plain, but I am hoping to engrave it with a special design soon. This signer ring was the very first piece that was custom made for me, rather than just simply buying one in a store. I am hoping to turn it into an heirloom, which will be passed out from generation to generation.
GOLD: I am all about yellow golf, but I am loving rose gold more and more. I love pink and yellow diamonds, but who woudn’t?
PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: I think Graff. A ring that incorporates a yellow diamond. I am not sure how big I would want it to be… I definitely want a new ring, not something that has been around. I do not want an heirloom`; getting your fiance’s mother’s ring is sweet, but I want something completely of my own.
ROLEX OR CARTIER: For me, Rolex has always has had a masculine identity. Whereas Cartier is sexier; their advertising featuring a gorgeous leopard is something that has captivated me. A watch is an accessory, since I always look at my phone for time. So I do not really wear a watch as often as I should. However, if I had a Cartier watch, I am sure I would wear it on a daily basis!
FINE JEWELLERY: uniquely crafted from materials of the highest quality. With such jewels you know that they cannot trickle down to cheap high street versions. Fine jewellery is made in a specific way that it only looks good when crafted from precious metals and stones and is not possible to emulate from cheap materials. For me, Graff epitomises everything fine jewellery stands for.
FASHION JEWELLERY: I wear a lot of fashion jewellery especially when I go to events. I do not really like wearing anything precious out and about as I would not want it to get lost or stolen. For fashion jewellery , I go to Topshop, Monica Vinader and Mawi. I also bring jewellery from my travels. To be more precise, I like travel-inspired but with a modern twist. I do not get anyting too “out there”, since I look for right piece I can wear on a weekend, rather than a trinket gathering dust I picked up on my travels.
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE: Vodka martini.
POWER COMES FROM: Self –confidence and belief in yourself. Do not be intimidated by the world!
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla is featuring exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.