Kulani Nkuna
2 minute read
13 Feb 2014
8:00 am

Proudly voluptuous

Kulani Nkuna

The politics of weight in the modelling industry changes slightly when dealing with "plus-sized" fashion.

PROUD. A Revelation Fashion model poses for a picture in the Maboneng Precinct.
Pictures: Valentina Nicol.

For the most part, the worry is that women who wear clothes around the size 40 region and beyond are often sidelined and their tastes not catered for by most retail shops and boutiques.

Things become interesting in the case of Revelation Fashion, which specialises in exquisite fashion designed specifically for plus-size women. The clothes have great appeal beyond that realm and the label designer and owner, Semole Mooka, has had requests from petite ladies for her designs, though she has refused to entertain such enquiries.

“I think that for a very long time, plus sized women have been neglected,” says Mooka.

“They have been forgotten, and unfortunately there hasn’t been anything hip and trendy for young plus-sized women, because the assumption is that these women are in their forties and fifties.

PLAYFUL. These plus-sized clothes are fashionable and can fit any occasion.

PLAYFUL. These plus-sized clothes are fashionable and can fit any occasion.

“For a very long time, youngsters never had a choice, but now there is a choice for something better, and that is where my label fits in. I get so many requests from people who wear smaller sizes and they complain about my work as another form of discrimination against smaller women.

“But my response is always that I feel they have so many avenues and options they can look into. We are plus-sized, and that is the way it is going to be. It is not even open for negotiation. Its what we are about and this is our market and they are glad to have something that is strictly their own.”

Mooka works with photographer Tshepo Phologane in presenting Revelation Fashion to a broader audience. On the day of this interview, the pair are on location in Maboneng shooting some models in the heart of the hip, trendy enclave.

“The location for the shoot is very important because this is where the Revelation Fashion client also hangs out,” explains Phologane.

“We want to get people acquainted with the area through the imagery so they can make that connection with Revelation Fashion.”