This week’s cool kid on campus is an aspiring fashion designer who makes new out of the old.
Construction studies student Hilary Maloma describes her passion for fashion as “one that discovered her” once she had shed the conventionality of the school uniform.
The second-year student says she did not see her love for fashion coming.
“I always wanted to do something creative and artistic or whatever, but I never gave fashion the time of day,” says Maloma.
In her first year she started playing around with style and clothing. This experimentation led her to “thrifting”, which she describes as an experience that elevated her style to the next level.
“When I would go thrifting, I would find very unique pieces… buying these unique pieces forced me to play around with clothes and from there I proceeded to DIY missions,” she says.
This built up her confidence, after having been self-conscious about her prosthetic leg.
“I used to be insecure about it. I used to wear jeans a lot. There was a phase when I restricted myself from wearing certain things because I did not want to show it… I had to get the confidence and learn to love myself,” Maloma says.
She launched her YouTube channel with her first video on June 18 this year, called Unapologetically Hilary.
The channel is fashion-based and features Maloma’s own designs as well as beauty and hair content including style tips, clothing reviews and brands.
Further along, she plans to add a section for viewers to see how she makes her clothing.
“I am going to have DIY seasons where I get to show my creativity with clothing,” says Maloma.
Her future plans include getting the channel monetised, but she describes the difficulty of expanding her following. She is, however, determined that if it affects her creative processes, she will not pursue monetising.
Maloma has been in conversation with different brands to raise funds and grow her brand, but has experienced some difficulties with locking down sponsorships, because of the expenses involved.
She told Wits Vuvuzela sponsorship is necessary for cutting costs for the items that appear in her videos, because the brands cover most of the costs which involve clothing, hair products, shoes and accessories.
Her other expenses include equipment (camera, lighting, sound), travel costs for vlogging away from home and material for her clothing.
But it is not all doom and gloom.
“I am working on something, but it is very low key,” she said about a project in the pipeline for 2020.
“Everything is still under wraps, but you will see it when it is done!”
FEATURED IMAGE: This week’s cool kid on campus Hilary Maloma. Photo: Tsholanang Rapoo