Bold, fresh and outgoing is not only Bee Diamondhead's personality, so is her sense of style. Bee graduated from the London School of Fashion and has since produced work for Dazed and Confused, Vanity Fair and worked as a Fashion Editor at Marie Claire SA for three years. She shares with us her career plans, thoughts on social media and the future of African fashion.
You've shifted careers from Fashion Editor to Freelance Stylist/ Creative Director/ Fashion Director and Youth Trend Analyst. Tell us a bit more about the shift
It's not really a shift in careers. Every job I have or do is linked within the creative branding industry. It's very important to me to understand different roles and positions in the creative industry and I enjoy learning and winning. So it's really been transitioning into one day soon starting my own creative agency.
You're originally from Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, you've lived in London and grew up in South Africa, how has moving around influenced your work?
Im a busy body I guess. When I was a kid we moved around a lot because of my dads job. I guess it made me the curious person I am today. It also really helps with the work. I'm in the business of knowing and understanding people so brands can better understand them. Being able to adapt to different places and spaces really helps that.
You work as a Creative Consultant for local and international brands, do you think the current branding messages are authentically catered for the local market?
I think we're starting to see a shift in the younger markets of consumer understanding. But this is really young people creating for themselves and their friends. Traditional brands and the media eye are still missing the mark hugely. You can tell when a brand has no idea how to engage with their audience and it's because they are still hiring the wrong people. It's a huge fucking problem actually. The sooner we start hiring correctly the better.
Which young African creatives are currently on your radar and are the ones to watch?
Shit, there's so many. Mmaphuti Morule at Nike. Jamal at Bubblegum club. Zandile Tisani an amazing film maker. Laduma doing that business thing with the threads. Athi and Kudzi killing the art game. Malibongwe inventing new careers. S/O to you starting your own mag which is so damn important. I know I just plugged you on your own platform but who gives a fuck. There's a ton of kids killing it. We just need the money and the land back.
The stereotypical beauty ideal is slowing changing due to social media and the internet democratising beauty and fashion. What are your thoughts on this? And do you think more can be done beyond the internet?
I was just listing the other day my list of people I used to think were beautiful growing up. And it's bloody embarrassing. The Internet has done so much for us. I think 110% more can be done beyond the Internet. And that's basically changing voices of authority in media. There's too many people who hold positions of power they shouldn't. People must stop trying to speak what they don't know or understand.
You document a lot of your daily life on your social media accounts. What do you enjoy most about social media?
I enjoy that it's on my terms. There's so much I filter myself on because I'm an adult and I know actions have consequences. But I love that I can filter what I need and don't. I can have fun on there. I get to see my crazy friends all day acting a fool and get life and business advice for free via people I actually respect.You document a lot of your daily life on your social media accounts. What do you enjoy most about social media? I enjoy that it's on my terms. There's so much I filter myself on because I'm an adult and I know actions have consequences. But I love that I can filter what I need and don't. I can have fun on there. I get to see my crazy friends all day acting a fool and get life and business advice for free via people I actually respect.
What has influenced the decision to start your own creative agency and how do you plan on setting your agency apart from other agencies?
I think it's really purely ambition. I've never enjoyed working for other people. But collaboration is important. There aren't enough young black females in positions of authority in our industry. We know ourselves, brothers and sisters better than anybody else or the people currently creating for and selling to us. We simply need to start taking control.
What do you think is the future of African fashion?
I feel like there are so many amazing designers coming out of Africa. And the whole world taking from Africa. At some point we need to invest heavily back home. There is enough talent to make Africa the fashion continent of the world and not enough resources. A few shitty fashion weeks that create very little outcomes is not enough. We need to invest better and bet on us. African fashion is lit. We need to keep it here at all costs.
In your point of view, is success the journey or the destination?
Woah. I'm gonna have to say it's 100% the journey. I've had so many vision boards and goals I thought would take time but I skipped through seamlessly. There's constant celebrations of success. I really hope life keeps handing me all these damn lemons because the journey is mad fun. *sips lemonade*
Photography: Andile Buka
Styling: Bonolo Moeng
Makeup: Danit Gordon
Interview: Phendu Kuta