PICS | Zozi Tunzi swaps her famed fade for a mullet to celebrate SA designer

18 June 2021 - 10:05
By Toni Jaye Singer
Former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
Image: Supplied/Miss SA Former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi's signature fade is almost as famous as she is, so fans were surprised to see her sporting some drastically different looks in a recent series of Instagram snaps.

The inspirational beauty queen changed up her haircut for a photo shoot celebrating the work of one of SA's brightest fashion talents, Thebe Magugu — and that he was one of the six finalists in the running for the 2021 International Woolmark Prize.

Touted as “the world's most prestigious award for rising fashion stars”, this annual competition challenges designers to dream up garments that “showcase the beauty and versatility of Australian Merino wool”.

Though the UK's Matty Bovan was this year's overall winner, Magugu making the finals is still a great accomplishment, especially when you consider that previous competitors include fashion icons like Karl Lagerfeld and Valentino.

Magugu teamed up with Tunzi to show off one of the pieces he created for this  global contest: a longline single-breasted coat with a matching utility apron. The design is made from an innovative anti-viral fabric and forms part of his latest collection, which explores the changing face of African spirituality.

Tunzi modelled this coat along with a custom pair of wide-legged pants for a shoot with photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman. The styling by Chloe Andrea Welgemoed is as bold as the outfit's colour.

With her stern expression, distinct lack of eyebrows and a temporary throat tattoo (courtesy of Magugu), the beauty queen is almost unrecognisable; she looks fierce and intimidating. Note how the clean lines of her hi-top fade cleverly echo the sharp tailoring of her cerise ensemble.

In the next shot, Tunzi's curly mullet mirrors her outfit's softer, more feminine feel. She wears a Collarbone Knitted Top made from Merino wool with a Crepe Pleated Skirt and Sunday Best Boots. 

Magugu shared some insight into why the team decided to portray such varied personas in this shoot on Instagram, saying: “Zozi captured our imagination and moved us all with her now historic speech, urging us all to 'take up space'. She's an allegorical every woman.”

Tunzi said she was proud to have been part of such an “exciting project on social media”, and was impressed by “genius creativity of it all”. 

“I'm glad we all pushed the envelope with the extreme differences of the two looks (mullet and all)," she added.