These celeb chefs' retro-chic aprons are selling like hot cakes

Once dowdy and housewifely, aprons are back in vogue — just ask chefs Zola Nene and The Lazy Makoti

08 November 2020 - 00:02
I love that my apron is so bright, so colourful and so happy, says chef Zola Nene.
I love that my apron is so bright, so colourful and so happy, says chef Zola Nene.
Image: Supplied


Passionate foodie Nene is an inspirational, much-loved TV celebrity chef and the author two top-selling cookbooks, Simply Delicious and Simply Zola. She lives in Cape Town,

Nene recently started selling denim aprons emblazoned with her smiling face via her website for R295 a pop. She tells us more:

I looked at many things in creating my apron and because I've been cooking for a long time and owned many aprons, it was important that it was durable and would stand up to years of battering.

I liked the idea of denim because it's fashionable and looks presentable because I run in and out of the kitchen so I wanted something that looks really good. No matter how many times you wash denim, it keeps on gaining character.

I put my logo on the apron because it adds colour and brightness. The apron represents me and my personality and I want those who buy my apron to have a piece of me — and help them to channel my cooking prowess. And when they look at themselves in the mirror, I hope they see me smiling back at them with my signature — a head wrap — and hope it boosts their self-confidence in the kitchen.

I love that my apron is so bright, so colourful and so happy. I've tried to exude joy and sort of put happiness out into the world and I think that my logo does that.

Aprons never went out of fashion! It's all about the apron; one doesn't want to wear something ugly, which can make one feel like a dowdy housewife, nor will you have to hide away in the kitchen. So my cue was to design something that won't make you feel like you should be hidden from the world and hopefully people think my aprons are cool enough to wear proudly — in and out of the kitchen.

I'm in such awe of my followers and supporters who show me so much love and get so excited about me releasing my apron. The country has been through a difficult time during the Covid pandemic, so the idea that people are willing to purchase my apron is something I don't want to take for granted. I'm just so grateful.


Social media queen, celebrity chef, cookery teacher and author of the best-selling cookbook The Lazy Makoti's Guide to the Kitchen, Seshoene has recently moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town and is working for a large retailer.

She's known for sporting a distinctive frilly red apron, and if you fancy doing the same you can buy one for R350 from her website. She shares the story behind its retro-chic design:

The name Lazy Makoti came from giving cookery lessons to my friend, a bride-to-be who was afraid of being labelled the lazy makoti (daughter-in-law) just because she couldn't cook — and the name stuck.

'My apron gets me in the mood to cook — and ready to slay in the kitchen!' says The Lazy Makoti.
'My apron gets me in the mood to cook — and ready to slay in the kitchen!' says The Lazy Makoti.
Image: Supplied

The red frilly apron I wear is my signature and an adaptation of a floral one my grandma had years ago. My mom, my biggest inspiration, made it from memory and it is now so popular it is manufactured on a large scale.

I like the boldness of the colour red of the apron, which stands out. And with a white frill around the edge, it is way more than an apron, it makes a statement. With added pockets the apron is more functional. Made from a cotton/polyester fabric blend, it is easy to care for and retains the signature bright red colour between washes.

I love wearing my apron because it has almost become to be like a superwoman's suit for me AND it gets me in the mood to cook — and ready to slay in the kitchen!

I'm too young to remember a time when aprons were worn by “dowdy housewives”. Today aprons are a very different story as many have become bold, even fashion-statement pieces, especially ones with the words “The Lazy Makoti” plastered across the front! I've heard of so many interesting stories about makotis wearing their aprons — even to family functions, which has everyone turning their heads.

Boyfriends and husbands buy the Lazy Makoti apron for their partners and more especially around Valentine's Day and Christmas — and if their partners have my cookbook, they want the apron to go with it.