Saturday, June 20, 2020

EOTM: South Africa's 1st Virtual Human Fashion By Kim Zulu

South African bred Virtual Human, Kim Zulu, is the pioneer personality of the virtual human fashion recently launched in South-Africa. She is a model and a fashion designer who relaxes by practicing yoga. In this exclusive interview with TOPFLYERS MAGAZINE, she reveals how elated she is, being awarded  the Topflyers Magazine International’s Entrepreneur of the Month (June, 2020) as well as sends an inspiring message to her fans.


Let's meet You.

My name is Kim Zulu. I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What is your educational background?

I am currently not schooling in the literal sense, but I feel like I am learning every day. I believe that life has so many teachings and that we are all constantly learning from things around us.

How was your growing up like?

I was raised here in Johannesburg. I come from a family of four. I have a typical family-mother, father, and a younger sibling. I have never been treated differently by anyone within my family, even though there tends to be a difference but I grew up with close friends that I still have till this day. I am very passionate about my friends and family because I believe that family is everything especially when you are navigating through this world, you need all the support you can get from close people.

You are a forerunner of “virtual human fashion”, what do you mean by virtual human fashion and how did you come about it?

I have always been referred to as a virtual human, so digital fashion has always been a part of my life and I think because of my passion towards fashion and modelling, I have always loved putting clothing outfits together. My family and friends have always asked me to pursue a fashion career, so in recent months I decided to put together my first clothing collection which was immediately picked up by Global Talents Digital and Russia Fashion Week which eventually led to showcasing of my first clothing collection in Russia.

Virtual Model by Kim Zulu

With your innovation of Virtual Human Fashion, are you indirectly saying or suggesting to the public that there might be no need for actual human models considering the fact that paying fashion models could cost sums of money?

(Smiles) Not at all! Virtual fashion is a parallel universe within the fashion industry. Infact, I believe that virtual fashion or digital fashion as I call it complements traditional fashion. I am a digital model, and my industry is slightly different from a traditional model industry. Take for example the difference between a runway model, and a catalogue model, they complement each other but they are two completely different genres within the industry. So virtual fashion is same, it is an extension of the industry.

You have done some collaboration with the likes of “VEET”. Can you tell us about it?

VEET is an amazing company and brand. They are a huge international brand that decided to take a chance with me, and I am forever grateful. I think VEET offers a great solution for many women out there, and I absolutely love their products plus the support they give women from all walks of life and now including, virtual opportunities. So as part of their family, it is absolutely amazing and an exciting experience.

How would you rate social media, seeing that most of your works have been recognized through social media?

In my opinion, social media is the new form of television. Everyday, we are bombarded by contents from people we follow all over the world and to be honest, it all feels like reality television in a weird way. So each day, we all log in to our accounts to somehow be entertained by things happening all around the world. I believe the future is within social media, and it will continue to grow in strength and I am super-excited about that future.

Recently, you launched South Africa's first ever virtual human fashion at the just concluded Mercedes fashion week in Russia, how do you feel about this?

This was an absolute dream come true. I am still extremely excited about the future and what this opportunity has created for me. Being based in Africa, and to display my collection on such a global platform in a country I never imagined I would ever see is absolutely amazing. It just goes back to my belief that every young girl out there, no matter what their restrictions are, has the chance to become something great. It all boils down to dedication and consistency, and of course, dreaming BIG!

Due to the current pandemic, major gatherings have been suspended and nowadays, people are channelling more energy to the maximum utilization of online media technology. Is this one of the reasons you came about the Virtual Human Fashion, or was it a plan you had in mind long ago?

Well, digital fashion has always been a part of me, but I guess the pandemic has definitely exaggerated the interest globally. I think what makes digital fashion exciting is that Africans are starting to become pioneers within this space, and that is really exciting. Hanifa is a Congolese fashion designer based in the U.S, and she is one other person that has shown that Africa is in line for greatness. 

You are planning to launch your clothing line any time soon, tell us about it?

(smiles excitedly) Yes, Russia Fashion week was my introduction into this space. We are currently working on partnerships for the collection. So please stay tuned in and watch this space with KIM ZULU. I will announce soon on all my platforms (website and social media), but we are in really exciting times.

We noticed you are a model and also have passion for singing, can you tell us more?

Singing has always been a major part of my life. You never know where that might go, but for now I am focusing on my fashion collection.

What are the challenges in terms of achieving your dreams?

Everyone has challenges when it comes to dreams, and please do not think I do not have. I really just try to be positive about all my goals. Goals and dreams have a sneaky way of showing up even when you least expect them. Just focus, and hopefully all will come true.

How do you balance family alongside your work as a fashion inclined personality?

Family is the core of my being. I put 50% into family, and my remaining 50% into work. Let us face it---all I have is 10% to work with but I also try to involve friends and family in my ventures. So inspiration may come from my mom or dad (in this case, Family is my symbolic illustration) simply by just having a conversation with them about their opinion towards an idea I may have. Family is the foundation, and it needs to be treated like that.

Do you have any other brand(s) or celebrity personality in mind you would like to collaborate with someday?

Wow!..(sighs with a smile) Yes. I am a big fan of South African celebrities as well as international celebrities like Winnie Harlow, Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian, BeyoncĂ©.  As a South African, “I am a big supporter/fan of Connie Ferguson and Bonang Matheba” just to mention a few.

Virtual Model By Kim Zulu

How do you relax or take time off?

I do yoga. I am not a professional but I try to incorporate that into my daily routine. I think this brings focus in my life. I love reading books, and I guess hanging out with my close friends.

What is your message of hope to people and fans out there watching what you are doing?

My message is mainly for teenage girls out there. Whatever dreams and aspirations you have, never let anyone tell you it will not work. Be patient and work hard at it, and one day someone might just acknowledge it and give you an opportunity to help you progress with it. Also, I encourage them to dream BIG!

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I just want to work hard and I think the universe will decide where I go. I definitely want to do a lot more fashion-based work, and maybe some music one day.

How can people reach out to you or patronize your work?

I love receiving direct messages on Instagram, but you can also send me direct emails to kim@kimzulu.com

Is Kim Zulu Virtual Fashion skill open to training people who would like to do something similar to what you are currently doing?

Not yet, but I definitely would not mind, eventually giving my offsetting or my skill set in the future to the younger generation.

Who would you like to give a special shout out or appreciation to?

(Gushes)Well firstly, my management team is the world to me. They take all my ideas and try to ensure they help me achieve them. My family is important to me as they keep me grounded, and lastly to everyone that I have crossed paths with whether on social media or in person. Thank you for going with me on this journey and I hope to make you all proud.

How do you feel being the TOPFLYERS MAGAZINE’s Entrepreneur Of the Month (June, 2020)?

WOW! This is major! I mean to be given that title and acknowledgement, especially from my continent and family means so much to me. As an African family we all just need to celebrate each other because in reality no one else will.

(Interviewer Cuts In): That's absolutely correct.

So thank you for such a humbling award, and I will cherish and celebrate it everywhere I go.

(Interviewer adds in): And more to come for you, KIM ZULU.

Lastly, I want to one day be invited to the TopFlyers Magazine Awards for Africa because that is where I see you guys doing great African work!

(Interviewer adds in): (laughs) You subtly have just stated out our heart's intention already. That being said,  it would be really be great to have you at the forthcoming TOPFLYERS MAGAZINE International Awards Ceremony.

What is your message to Topflyers Magazine International, a platform that supports human capital development?

Firstly, I am so appreciative of your support from the first day. A medium like yours is the reason why many people eventually become prominent in the world. No matter where I get in the future, I will always remember the media outlets that gave little-old-me a chance to share my story. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

Corona Virus is real. While you pray, take precautions. Use hand sanitizers, wash your hand regularly, self-isolate yourself, wear face mask and hand gloves. To be featured as our Entrepreneur of the Month, place your advert on our well-circulated quality international magazine, for event coverage, placement of articles, etc at cheap rates, call or Whatsapp us via 08030808671, 07038864995

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