Sunday, 10 November 2013

Elle and Blackberry Announces the 2013 Style Reporter Finalists

ELLE magazine and BlackBerry® have once again joined forces to create an amazing opportunity for young bloggers and street-style spotters to launch anonline career in the world of fashion. The search kicked off in July 2013 and is a nationwide competition to discover a young, talented creative who can report on style, capture and document the dynamic narrative of style, tell a story with a photograph, and convey a unique point of view with their writing.

The 2013 Style Reporter needs to be confident and able to communicate and report on social media platforms in an engaging and intelligent way...

BlackBerry’s decision to collaborate with ELLE for a second year on developing South African talent allows the finalists the opportunity to develop their skills on feature-rich smartphones, and provides the next fashion reporter with the stylish and innovative technology needed to launch a career in this fast-changing and social media-driven age. 

To enter, aspiring Style Reporters were asked to create a new blog and in their first post convey street style at its most dynamic. In keeping with BlackBerry’s thinking, the brief asked for entrants to capture ‘Fashion on the Move’ and show how it moves them personally, drawing on their creative ability and fashion knowledge. Entries closed 18 September and the 2013 panel of judges had the difficult decision of first selecting 18 semi-finalists, before editing it down to 7 finalists. ELLE editor, Jackie Burger, says of this year’s finalists: ‘They certainly have a strong point of view, a good visual narrative, innovative lateral interpretation of the brief as well as an understanding of creating a signature blog.’

BlackBerry South Africa Brand Planning Manager, Marina Hartmann, says: ‘The entries are as diverse as the country we live in. They all captured the brief in their own distinct style and created memorable content. For our finalists, keep inspiring and stay true to who you are and stay focused on the brief. Let your surroundings inspire you!’

ELLE and BlackBerry® are proud to present the top 7 Style Reporter finalists: 

Niquita Bento, 22 
Student, Cape Town 
Blog: Neck Of The Woods: 
Twitter: @xx_niquita_zz 

‘I am beyond ecstatic to have been selected as a 2013 finalist. I feel that all the work I have been involved in until now has been in preparation for this competition. Street style is self-expression. It’s personal, it’s fun, it’s reinvention and that’s what I try to convey in my work. I love finding beauty in the mundane. I want my images to be the ones people will always remember, the ones that provoke thought, tell a story and stays with you.’ 

Lebogang Tlhako, 25 
Freelance photographer, Johannesburg 

‘As a finalist for the second year in a row I feel a sense of accomplishment to be part of this journey again. As a photography graduate, it’s my passion to capture what is genuine and what is happening on the streets of SA. I use an analogue camera, which brings a different perspective to fashion blogging. I want people to be able to connect with and relate to my work – not just now but also in the future. I love to shoot the unexpected – a great shot is when all the right elements come together in one moment: the textures, the background, the lighting and the personality.’ 

Elelwani Netshifhire, 22 
Film and television graduate, Cape Town 

‘I aim to capture silent stylish moments which pass by every day without being noticed or documented, and I hope people see this and walk away wanting more. For me, street style is about observing. I want to inform people through my visual reporting. This competition is a journey to grow and learn and be mentored – winning is a bonus.’ 

Kirsten Mackrill, 20 
Fine art student, Cape Town 

‘The fashion industry is where I have always dreamed of being and to be given the opportunity by ELLE and BlackBerry® is completely overwhelming. I am extremely excited to be able to learn and grow as a fashion blogger and enthusiast. I want to be able to capture the way fashion inspires me, and communicate this to others. I want to bring a fresh take on this year’s competition.’

Themba Mbuyisa, 21 
Student, Johannesburg 

‘This is the first time I’ve entered a competition like this, and as a photography student I knew this was one I couldn’t miss out on. I hope people will see the beauty in my work, and that for me it is colour, personality and facial expressions that are what tell a story. Beautiful sunlight and colours make me stop and snap – I want to capture my love of detail and showcase the importance of a considered shot and story.’ 

Kabelo Seshibe, 21 
Journalism student, Johannesburg 

‘Street style, to me, is a form of expression. I look forward to capturing this in my Style Reporter journey. I want to capture what is relevant, the unique, the different and the significant. It’s something that can’t be imitated. I want to capture how style resonates with the individual, and what fashion says about them beyond the clothes. I look forward to capturing a reflection of my time in this competition.’ 

Thanda Kunene, 23 
Photography student, Durban 

‘This competition demands not only someone who has an eye for fashion and an understanding of how different art forms influence fashion, but also someone who is online-savvy and hot off the mark. My passion is to tell stories through fashion and provide a strong and unique visual voice, one that references bygone eras but in an African and modern context. Visual imagery that talks to the viewer makes me stop and snap, instead of imagery that is “perfect” or “planned”.’ 

The 2013 ELLE Style Reporter in association with BlackBerry® finalists will receive two more challenges before the final event in December 2013. In true Style Reporter fashion, they will be given tight deadlines, briefed in the context of local fashion and challenged to capture style by drawing on their influence and referencing art forms of design, architecture, art, film, music and photography and asked to convey how these art forms shape local fashion today.

Chief judge and photographer Ed Suter says: "What impressed me most about the finalists’ entries was how they brought their own identities and surroundings to their work. All of the finalists' entries have character, humour and unusual points of view. I am really looking forward to seeing how each of them respond to the challenges we set for them, and hope that none of them lose that special individualism that made an impression on me and my fellow judges."

The ELLE Style Reporter in association with BlackBerry® search aims to help grow the next generation of fashion writers in SA. Follow the super 7 finalists  journey on 

Follow #StyleReporter2013 on Twitter with @ellemagazinesa and @BlackBerry_ZA

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