GQ South Africa‘s latest digital issue is a colourful treat covered by fashion guru, celebrity stylist, and brand new reality tv sensation Swanky Jerry.

In this issue, Swanky opens up about career pressure, styling and representing Nigeria and Africa, starring in Netflix‘s first-ever African reality series Young, Famous & African and more.

Styling himself for the shoot, Swanky looks incredibly good on the cover in a David Tlale black and red graphic coat, cleverly paired with black leather pants and boots. To complete his ensemble, Swanky wore square-frame oversized sunnies and leather gloves.

Read excerpts from the interview below:

On his career trajectory:

My career has been interesting, a rollercoaster of lessons, experiences and growth. It began over a decade ago when I launched my brand. I started as a designer, making shoes, waistcoats, bow ties and backpacks. But the people I was working with didn’t care about fashion and weren’t in tune with what dressing someone else entails and what a stylist brings to the creative sphere – for them being a stylist wasn’t a big thing. I had to convince, show and prove to them the value of what I was doing. I love, enjoy and believe in fashion, but I had to help others feel that way too – and it wasn’t easy to win people over.

On what it takes to be a stylist:

It takes mental and emotional work, research and creativity. Being a stylist goes beyond throwing clothes on people. It’s about leaving a legacy, transforming people into fashion icons. By dressing somebody up, you’re responsible for the feedback they receive when they leave their house. So don’t get it twisted; it’s not easy.

A great stylist understands body proportion, dress codes, their clients, and the business side of fashion. My added advantage is that apart from being a stylist, I’m an image consultant – I own a PR firm. When Swanky Jerry dresses you, you get the full package: hair, makeup, photography and social media posts. You might persuade your clients to try something new or unfamiliar; however, dressing them isn’t just about your style but how they want to look.

On his experience filming the Young, Famous & African series:

Every cast member was dope. We were this group of people from different parts of Africa, but we became one family. And all of us deserve to be here, and it’s great we get to represent our countries. I love that I get to represent Nigeria.

Click here for the full interview with GQ South Africa


Fashion Editor/ Art Direction@miraleibowitz
Photography Assistants: Tshepo Mokoena & Thabang Flank