This week we celebrate an outstanding personality in the world of fashion and style. A journey that started with entering a fashion designing competition and holiday jobs in retail stores whilst in high school, Marshall Malikula has risen to be one of the most sought fashion stylists and consultants in the region.
A game changer and award-winning stylist, Malikula has 44 editions of the Edgars Club Magazine under the belt as a stylist and creative director. Our Person of the Week is also currently part of the team working on laying foundations for the Zimbabwe Fashion Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation, which is expected to set the tone for the Zimbabwean fashion scene for the foreseeable future.
Mashall attributes the flair for style and fashion to childhood influences and an inate eye for art, color and style. After noticing an inclination towards art and style Malikula entered a design competition in high school and fared well despite being relatively inexperienced at the time and those early steps paved the way for what is now a remarkable career.
“Fashion found me, I was raised by my gran and have always been independent. I would put together what I wore from pre- school, I was always a hit at civvies day in junior school. My mom would send me clothes from overseas and I would coordinate like an expert. Naturally I have the eye for art, colour and style,” said Malikula.
“I live and breathe Fashion, Arts and all things creative. You will also find me casting and coaching models. I love creating magic behind and in front of the camera, and I am also a Stylist for popular TV show Coca-Cola on the Beat. Even from childhood, there was no doubt as far as what I wanted to do as a career…. my late dad would have had it otherwise seeing he insisted I studied Economics at A level which was futile. Anyways long story short…God had other plans!”
The passion for fashion would get piqued for Malikula after securing a holiday job in a retail store and becoming a hit with styling mannequins and offering creative ideas to the team. More experience over the years would come through working with retail brands such as Edgars, Jet, Woolworths,Truworths, Daniel Hector and Billabong.
Success does not come overnight and Malikula put in the work to build an expansive and impressive portfolio that includes choreographing the Edgars Fashion Show with the renowned David Tlale in 2017, among other career highlights. Marshall also styles and coaches various personalities and corporate shows and also bagged the Stylist of the Year Award at the Zimbabwe Models Awards in 2018.
As a consultant to the stars and the go-to person for the style icons, Malikula emphasises the importance of not only grooming and ettiquette but image and branding especially in such a dynamic industry where appearances matter.
“First impressions last forever – Research shows that people will have opinions formed within the first 7 seconds of meeting, so one cannot afford to put a foot wrong. Celebrities, individuals and companies must not downplay the power of a Stylist for grooming and etiquette. Hiring a good Stylist will set you apart from everybody else, the right image will speak for you before you open your mouth…all of us need a Stylist or Image consultant in our lives depending on where we want to go.”
The fashion and entertainment scenes have often been described as cut-throat due to the competitiveness and abundance of innovation and creativity and as such, the major players in it have to constantly appraise and upgrade themselves. Despite having a distinct style, Malikula does not impose personal style on clients, preferring to customize as per needs of the project.
“It all depends on the client brief. I never dictate my personal preferences on the client unless it’s justifiably unachievable. I am obviously not agreeable to everything BUT if the idea doesn’t work i will give reasons why. My personal style is usually clean and I am finicky about attention to detail. Sometimes i will do maximalist combos without looking busy – it is a fine balance,” said Malikula. The award winning stylist is always looking at ways to stay ahead of the curve.
“The learning never stops, so the key word is RESEARCH. Thank God for the internet! I read and jot spur of the moment ideas down so I do not forget, I then refine them continuously until ready for execution. When i look at magazines I study them in depth, lighting, make up, outfits and the story the Creatives were trying to tell. Basically I am trying to get better than the last shoot or project and I always benchmark my success against the world standard.”
Despitebeing usually swamped with work, Malikula revels in the pressures, highs and lows of the job and is looking forward to executing personal projects that are in the pipeline anytime soon.
“I totally appreciate all the doors my talent has opened for me. I never take it for granted – “your gift will make room for you in front of Kings”. I absolutely love my job. It keeps me creatively on my toes – nothing is ever the same, new challenges everyday, which I love to bits. Downside is I get carried away with achieving goals and results and forget to take care of mind and body sometimes. Burn out is a huge challenge because I am so passionate I will go far and wide to achieve the set goal. Great thing I found yoga and long distance running which are quite therapeutic for me.”
The world is ever moving even at a time when things seem static and Malikula is hoping to explore other passions more and unlock new levels on a professional and social front.
“I am looking to expand my wings urge others to add value to their craft, exposure is not going to pay the bills,haha. In my personal space I’m an avid Thespian and love musicals and stage. Hopefully this will bear fruit soon and with a small or big screen role – acting or presenting…Thats my big hairy goal! ..God willing I would like to style News Presenters as well – all things being equal.”