My Aesthetic: Lindiwe Ngubeni

With a love for monochromes and a minimalist approach, Instagrammer Lindiwe takes us through her style story

Lindiwe Ngubeni

Words: Phendu Kuta | Photography: Kgomotso Neto

Lindiwe Ngubeni known simply as Lindi on social media is a 19-year-old Instagram starlet originally hailing from Bloemfontein. Lindi started taking photographs of people and objects around her when she was in high school, and not many people understood why she was taking pictures of buildings or making flatlays with objects that didn’t seem to belong in the same picture. Likewise her obsession with certain walls to take pictures of herself in front of. Yet she never let the doubters deter her as this was something that she enjoyed and believed that she had a unique perspective on. She attributes her older cousin, photographer Lebo Lukewarm, as one of her greatest influences and acknowledges how gratifying it has been to see how taking in all of that inspiration from him and having a constant willingness to learn has paid off. Commenting on Lindi’s rise, Lebo says “I’m very proud of her and her achievements thus far, and it really is rewarding to be able to watch from the frontlines and witness her growth.”

Lindiwe Ngubeni

Last year Lindi was studying for a BSc in Biological Science at Wits University and was not satisfied at all with the direction she had taken. She found herself questioning her purpose and realised that the path she had taken was not for her. “I hated compromising my happiness and being so consumed in something that I wasn’t truly invested in.”

Which is why Lindi is now currently taking a break from varsity to explore her other interests and talents, with a plan to build on them and pursue something that she’s wholeheartedly passionate about.

Lindi is similarly passionate about her looks, with a style influenced by her mood. Although she prefers tomboyish looks, it all depends on how she’s feeling, really, and appreciates the contrast of simple, bold looks with most of her inspiration coming from Asia, especially Japanese fashion.

Taking us through three looks she put together for The Way of Us Lindi says, “the first look represents my day-to-day tomboy style. 99% of the time you’ll find me in sneakers and a good pair of tailored pants. For me, it also represents the new age millennial working woman who is breaking boundaries and can also rock a suit to her work place. I'm not confined to wearing skirts or what society has deemed 'appropriate' for women, I would wear this look while running day to day errands, without the blazer.”

Lindiwe Ngubeni

“The second look was very much inspired by the street style from 2017 Seoul Fashion Week. I saw a lot of ladies rocking skirts and long socks and I fell in love with the trend. I would wear this look for an autumn lunch out.”

“The third look was inspired by the historic American Black Panther political party. Their bold take on protecting black lives, the expression of black culture and distinctive 'urban militant' fashion is something that I gravitated towards when learning about them in history. And this look would work for a night out or dinner date.”

Lindi’s fashion staples are black cigarette pants, white sneakers, a plain white tee and a leather jacket. Her major style tip is confidence in what you are wearing is imperative, since style means something different to everyone. The fashion trends that have caught her attention this year are oversized suit looks, bold-colour-monochromatic looks and sophisticated belt bags.

Lindiwe Ngubeni

As social media personality, Lindi has not felt any external pressure when it comes to what she shares because she believes that it's important to set the pace for herself and maintains that the only pressure that she experiences is actually from herself. 

“I am quite the perfectionist and my greatest critic when it comes to maintaining a certain visual aesthetic – not because I feel that I am expected to, but because it makes me feel good when I can look at my work and feel proud of it. I’ve always been about presentation! So as I said, I don’t believe in rushing content because I really do want to give my audience what I believe is my best.”

However, Lindi does sometimes feel as though it's a bittersweet experience growing up and discovering who she is in front of so many people, because “all eyes are on you” and if she makes one wrong move she feels a great sense of responsibility to people that she doesn't even know. Contrary to that, there’s a warm comfort in knowing that there are legitimate people out there who celebrate her growth.

As someone is who is her own brand, her advice to others who want to follow in her footsteps is, “be yourself, we often compromise who we are to appeal to a certain audience and I mean, it’s 2018 – we’re done with that!”

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