Yes, Helen Zille has a stylist!
Some of the decisions the normally decisive Helen Zille would rather not take are those involving fashion, which she has outsourced to a stylist.
The 68-year-old stepped back into a leadership role in the DA this week sporting a youthful look, with a strawberry-blonde bob replacing her old bouffant hairstyle.
She says the only thing she has changed is her hair, and she credits Janine Schouw with keeping her style up to date.
"She is amazing, I don't get to her often enough. When I do, I look decent, otherwise I look like the back-end of a bus," she told the Sunday Times on Friday.
According to Zille, when the late Sunday Times columnist Gwen Gill put her on her famous worst-dressed list in 2008, the DA - of which she was leader at the time - had had enough.
"The DA wasn't keen on me remaining on the worst-dressed list so they employed a PA for me who also had styling skills. You better believe it my girl - I was looking like a bag of mealies."
Schouw said she had given Zille an ultimatum.
"When [Zille] retired she wanted her hair long, so I did what I could. But when she started to do her podcast, Tea with Helen, I said I would only do her hair and makeup if I could cut that hair," she said.
"I said I needed [a free hand] to do what I wanted, I have a natural eye for what suits people. I gave her a new signature look - a blouse and pants - because she has the most amazing body. I've always told her to drink lots of water so her skin looks incredible."
Schouw said Zille's transformation "has nothing to do with surgery or anything".
"I use a good moisturiser to give her a dewy skin. She is even wearing bold specs which match her outfits - something I've been trying to get her to do for ages. I think she's having fun [with her look] and when a person feels good about themselves they are more confident."
Zille, now chair of the DA federal council, said hair and makeup are low on her list of priorities.
She said she was pleased at the title Gill gave her, "the woman who has everything but style".
"I was quite flattered actually because I could care less what I look like. I'm more interested in the work I do."
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