Jeans genius Tshepo Mogorosi shares his denim looks and tips
Words by Afrika Bogatsu | Images: Bantu Mahlangu
Sometimes all it takes is a walk to your local spaza shop for a serving of style inspiration. It was thanks to a vibrant township dress-sense, which Tshepo Mogorosi spotted in and around his childhood home of Meadowlands, Soweto, but more so from his parents, that inspired the art director, rapper and denim fanatic’s dress sense.
With a love for always looking dapper, despite your surroundings, Tshepo compares his style journey to how a quality pair of jeans breaks in over time, eventually fitting and feeling like they were made for you. Having taken a while to finally find his own personal style, now that he has it’s clear to see that his passion for denim borders on obsession.
Tshepo’s love for denim began with his brothers, Karabo Mashishi and Ntokozo Sithole, with whom he started Be Authentic a platform that educates people about everything denim.
“We were tired of wearing clothes that didn’t have a personality or heritage to them. We felt that there had to be a style that could fill the void that we were feeling, and so we began researching fabrics and following denim heads on Instagram.”
Describing denim as something with few limitations and infinite possibilities, the main characteristic that attracted Tshepo was how if he bought the same pair of jeans as Karabo and Ntokozo did, and wore them for the same amount of time, the final result would always be different after a year or two of wearing them.
Fabricated from a tried and trusted material, Tshepo loves how it takes time to break in a pair of jeans and he's still in the process of doing that to the prized pair he bought on a trip to Amsterdam two years ago.
“I knew exactly what I wanted to buy even before I left. Two pairs of Red Wing boots and a pair of Lee 101oz selvedge jeans. Out of all my denim I’m most looking forward to seeing how these will eventually turn out.”
From the soles of his Red Wing boots to the poor boy cap on top of Tshepo's head and then everything in-between, the workwear influence is plain to see and beyond the durability, it's denim's undeniable personality that Tshepo turns to whenever it comes to deciding what he’s going to wear.
Describing his relationship with denim as wearing different washes and weights depending on his mood, Tshepo describes jeans as so much more than a regular material.
“Denim is like a canvas where every wear is like a brush stroke and we're all painting a different story. Every pair carries memories and your experiences. How you style, why you styled it in a particular way, that's another story.”
With such a deep passion and knowledge of denim, we thought Tshepo would be the best person to answer that age old question of how often one should wash their jeans.
“A pair of jeans shouldn’t be washed often. I’d say take six months before you wash them. I find that I get better results when I wash them after a year. By better results I mean that the material stays in the same condition, and the more you wash your jeans the more they're affected. Not washing as often gives your jeans more personality and tells more of a story.”
Like the denim he wears Tshepo is adding to his story in an authentic way as possible, and aspires to grow Be Authentic in order to educate people and expose them to the different ways of maintaining, treating and styling denim. His ultimate goal is to one day own the first-ever premium denim store right in the heart of Soweto, and expose the community he grew up in to the heritage of denim.