The Mokoena's are so damn picture perfect it's annoying
Despite this being their very first campaign as a family, there's no denying that the Mokoena's are as picture perfect off camera, and what makes this so annoying is that because it's all actually very authentic.
Not a K-Way puffer jacket in sight, or any of the other trappings of the suburban fashion problems we're used to, instead they're dressed to effortless perfection in earthy tones and bold coloured accessories that look completely at home on set.
While their individual aesthetics are quite different, the stylish coupling between Thapelo Mokoena and his wife Lesego works because neither overshadows and instead complements the other, beautifully.
Lesego, who looks regal in her green maxi dress, says that she loves seeing her husband Thapelo in formal shoes. "His look always has to revolve around sneakers." And while both share a love of bold statement making accessories, like the kufi's crowning their heads, Lesego admits to only finding her fashion voice a few years ago.
"Before that I'd just dress like everyone else, and was heavily influenced by what my friends were wearing. If the uniform was heels that's what I'd wear. It was very group or trend focussed."
It's hard to imagine Lesego as part of a style sorority, dressed the same as the other moms on the school run, but with individual growth she's gained confidence in her own unique style. Completely comfortable in her skin no matter the occasion, every look starts with her ethos: "How do I feel?” Unfazed by what’s trending, Lesego is on a mission to wear what she likes, “I never worry about trends,” she says. “I always make it work and I never feel like they have to define my personal style.”
When asked to describe her ultimate style, Lesego says she imagines herself in a flowy dress or jumpsuit in a bright colour or chic black, adorned with bold signature jewellery that she's designed herself — not very far removed from her current aesthetic, actually, and fitting of the queen she is.
When asked about his ultimate look, Thapelo describes a tailored James Bond suit, just less secret agent and more doting father and husband. He's even more specific about his accessory of choice – a solid gold Rolex to match his wedding band.
With a mischievous smile Lesego interrupts "Can I tell you what I'd like him in?" Defenceless to her charm, Thapelo shrugs "This is clearly not about me." Excitedly she conjures an image of a printed two piece with the shortest of shorts "He hates short shorts, but I think they're one of the sexiest things on a man, and since you live in the gym then you must show us your legs!" Thapelo protests to being used as a doll when Lesego has Lereko and Lefika to dress up. "Sometimes I wish he could just keep quiet and I could dress him. There are so many different looks that he could experiment with, because he's got such a good body."
Yes, even their lover's-tiffs are cute...
If you follow Thapelo on Instagram you'll know that he's really passionate about fitness, which he's quick to note isn't for show, but rather a lifestyle he shares with the whole family. “It's not about having an 8-pack, it's about how you feel, and being a better person once you're operating at your full potential instead of half-stepping your daily routine." The Mokoena’s are early risers who love releasing feel good endorphins be it at the gym, around the block or just kicking a ball around in the backyard. While fitness is important they never deprive themselves of the nice things in life, "I'll never diet, if I want to have a beer or chocolate cake, I will. And if I don't make it to the gym by the end of the week, it's not the end of the world, I'll start again.” says Lesego.
Looking to raise well-rounded individuals, Lesego, who’s worked in the fashion industry before and has an understanding of the economics of fashion, wants to raise her children to be able to use their consumer power responsibly, and to make a difference in some way or another.
"As a parent it's not just about you, you're thinking what kind of child am I going to raise? Is he going to have tunnel vision, blindly follow trends and not question anything? Consumers now have a voice, and can tell brands to do better. Thanks to social media, there's a revolution and a lot more social consciousness happening now."
Lesego’s shopping choices are influenced by her awareness of the high of cheap fashion, which is why she says it’s important to support our local fashion industry by wearing and buying South African brands.
The Mokoena's are not interested in displaying a false sense of perfection or gaining clout, but rather simply living their authentic story. And they choose to embrace and live that truth everyday.