Style Star of the Year finalists stepped out in style this year, thanks to Thuli Mola, owner of Style Alert SA, who personally styled all three finalists for the 2016 SPAR gsport Awards.
Channel Africa sports presenter, Rachel Makhura, top athlete, Mapaseka Makhanya and Proteas star, Mignon du Preez, made their way to Mola’s studio in Marshalltown for fittings and in the end, they all were delighted with their personal choices.
The Style Star of the Year award has evolved over the years since it was launched back in 2007. Initially, the award attracted celebrity nominees and over the years, they have dominated this category.
“This year, gsport decided to open the category to women in sport only and we felt it was time they owned the space,” explained gsport Founder, Kass Naidoo.
“We called on Thuli Mola, the brains behind Style Alert SA, to make sure that our finalists walked the pink carpet in style.”
During her acceptance speech, Makhura, who was declared Style Star of the Year, thanked Mola for styling her and her fellow competitors.
gsport chatted to Thuli Mola at the conclusion of the 2016 SPAR gsport Awards to find out more about the success that is Style Alert SA
Tell us about Style Alert SA and its vision…
Style Alert SA is a South African ready-to-wear fashion house founded by Thuli Mola in 2010 after being retrenched. Style Alert SA started off by selling vintage clothing at stalls and having monthly pop-ups around Johannesburg. And then it then branched into other provinces. It slowly expanded from pop-up stalls into a back door garage in Soweto. Due to the high demand of the clothes and the exclusivity that they brought, Style Alert SA was then forced into employing tailors to recreate the exclusive garments – and Thuli’s own designs – for customers. This resulted in one of the company’s first major successes, the opening of a boutique in MarshallTown Johannesburg. With the use of social media and word-of-mouth, Style Alert SA has became the mecca in ready-to-wear for women. Apart from running Style Alert SA, Thuli also provides a vast number of services such as designing and creating Haute Couture garments upon request, she is a stylist and personal shopper, and she also does promotional wear.
You have become a household name in SA styling – Who is Thuli Mola?
She is just a goal-driven women who’s learning and making her own mistakes in the business world, Thuli Mola is a fighter and wants to share the crazy little ideas in her head with the rest of the world.
What inspired you to get involved with the 2016 SPAR gsport Awards?
Over the years I have been watching the Awards and it dawned to me that fashion/style was not part of the program, the athletes – as much as they take time to master their craft in sport – little or no effort was done when it came to their image, and how they looked at the event that honours all their hard work. I knew that this year I had to do something for these phenomenal women.
Your brief was to style the three Style Star finalists. How did you approach it?
With me it has always been about the women and making her feel sexy and comfortable before anything else, therefore I first had to know the finalist before we even began with the clothes and ideas I had for them.
What was the feedback from the women you dressed?
They were ecstatic and were opened to all the ideas I had for them, which was a bonus for me!
You attended the event and presented the Best Styled Guest award. What was your favourite moment of the Awards?
My favourite moment had to be seeing the finalists looking gorgeous and comfortable in Style Alert SA creations. Seeing them happy solidified my purpose of making women sexy and comfortable in their own skin.
What style advice can you share with women in sport that would help them shape their personal brands?
As much as you take time and put in effort in your craft, your personal brands all matter too. You can be a strong, athletic, courageous woman, and still dress up!
How can someone get in touch with you for style advice?
Facebook: Style Alert SA
Cell: (061) 4130577
Photo 1 caption: Triple #gsport11 winner – including the 2016 gsport Style Star Award – Rachel Makhura was among the three Style Star finalists to be dressed for the annual event by Thuli Mola, owner of Style Alert SA. Makhura is pictured with her sister on the pink carpet. Photo: gsport
Photo 2 caption: The first athlete to win gsport’s annual Style Star Award was Mapaseka Makhanya in 2015, who also won the SPAR gsport Athlete of the Year for her 10km prowess in 2013, was resplendent in a Style Alert SA outfit. Photo: gsport
Photo 3 caption: A Special Recognition Award winner in 2016 for her part in moving the Momentum Proteas into a new era was former skipper Mignon du Preez, who looked the part in her Style Alert SA outfit. Photo: gsport
Photo 4 caption: Style Alert SA boss Thuli Mola (left) is pictured congratulating the black-tie evening’s best-dressed winner, Lesego Chaane. Photo: gsport