A new face shows off the new athleisure
Photographs by Julian Le Ballister
Sisipho Graham is really tall, which makes getting dressed tough, and modelling a problem when he has to fit his size 12 flippers into the sample size 9s. He takes it all in his stride though, and the 19-year old Reddam House matriculant is enjoying being able to subsidise his business studies at Varsity College “by getting paid to wear nice clothes and take photos. It’s better than waitering.” It’s been mere months since Sisipho decided to try out this modelling lark, and made the conscious decision to approach an agency. “I don’t want to sit around and live like most people my age. So I was proactive, I just did it, and it’s worked.” An extremely confident fellow, when Sisipho overhears our on-set chatter about the Superbalist 100 list, he pipes up saying, “Obviously you got me on there, right?” We let him down easily, to which he replies, “That’s okay, next year’s my year. You’ll be hearing more of me.”
You might not be aware that you’ve already been warming up in tracksuits and sneakers for a while, but now you can achieve your personal best by wearing your favourite relaxed silhouettes with more high-end clothing. “Everyone probably already owns a bunch of sweatshirts or some active wear,” says Sisipho. “That’s why this urban sports trend is so easy to jump into.” The new street style uniform is a casual trend that pulls together bomber jackets, sweatshirts and joggers to create contemporary, clean looks. These gym-to-street clothes allow us to transition from one activity to the next and play a huge role in helping to ease up our overloaded schedules. Back in the day, you’d be expected to change jackets between fox hunting and smoking your pipe, but now thanks to athleisure we can do both these things and more in a hoodie because not even hunting foxes comes before comfort.
The fashion world loves a comeback and if you squirreled away some of the oversized, branded sweats from your youth – the ones with the huge logo across the chest – then you’re in luck because you can call it a comeback.
“I wasn’t really around for 90s fashion, well I was but I was just a baby,” says Sisipho. “But I still really like the aesthetics and the new direction things are going in.”
The style getting a second chance means those who missed out the first time round get to have a go, and it’s their interpretations of the trend that make it much more than mere nostalgia.
Model: Sisipho G @ Twenty Model Management