Local it-girl Bonang Matheba gets star treatment on the October cover of ELLE magazine. Shot in New York, the cover shows the former Live presenter wearing a yellow and black polkadot mini from a collaborative collection by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and the enigmatic Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. Inside, Matheba reveals that she regrets ‘trusting too many people with what’s happening in my personal life’ and that failing is her biggest fear.
Matheba and ELLE’s editor Jackie Burger and fashion director Poppy Evans flew to New York in July to attend the launch of the collection at Louis Vuitton’s flagship Fifth Avenue store and the opening of the Vuitton-sponsored Yayoi Kusama retrospective exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum.
It’s a first ELLE cover for Matheba, who joins international models and music and movie stars, including Alexa Chung, Agyness Deyn, Rihanna and Katie Holmes, featured on recent ELLE covers.
More pictures of Matheba in Vuitton accompany a six-page profile story titled ‘Who’s that girl?’, in which Matheba addresses ‘misconceptions’ that she is ‘a diva, a bitch, a bulldozer’. ‘I’m a sweetheart,’ she tells ELLE’s Annelize Visser, and goes on to say that ‘opening herself to the media too much’ is something she regrets. The article also quotes Matheba’s mother, Charlotte Mokoena, who reveals that she gives the young star ‘lots of advice’ over rooibos tea and red velvet cake, and Matheba’s best friend Mishumo Madima, who tells ELLE that she dreams of seeing Matheba ‘on that red carpet with Giuliana and Ryan’.
Matheba was chosen as the cover girl for ELLE’s big summer issue after an online reader poll earlier this year, according to ELLE editor Jackie Burger. ‘When we received an invitation to shoot the Louis Vuitton resort collection in New York, we knew that featuring South Africa’s best-loved celebrity in the pop-bright prints inspired by Yayoi Kusama would make the issue a showstopper.’
A double-page spread in the same issue captures the behind-the-scenes action at ELLE South Africa’s first New York cover shoot.
The Matheba cover marks the start of a bold new cover strategy for South Africa’s leading fashion title, which caused a stir recently when it brought Solange Knowles to Cape Town for a shoot. Ironically, the news that Knowles had arrived in Cape Town as a guest of ELLE was broken by Matheba who had recognised Knowles on the flight to Cape Town and wasted no time letting her Twitter followers know.