Magogodi Makhene has always had a natural flair for fashion. And last year, the stylish twenty-nine year-old decided to take her fashion sense online. Along with her two sisters she launched KoKOFIFI, a fashion blog and now a virtual boutique as well, which blends influences from South African culture and vintage American pieces. A self-described “global citizen” Magogodi is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa but has live in the U.S. since she was sixteen; currently residing just outside of New York. This cross-continental upbringing has inspired and shaped her sense of style in many ways. “My love for fashion and my personal style is very much informed by my affinity for African culture but also a very global sensibility.”
KoKoFIFI is a play on the name of a legendary town in South Africa, Kofifi (a suburb of Johannesburg), which Makhene says was a hub of sophisticated Black cosmopolitan culture in the 1940s and 1950s, comparable to the glory days of Harlem, where everyone made it a point to dress their best day-in and day-out. KoKo is also the name for Makhene’s grandmother, who instilled a love and knack for great second-hand finds in Magogodi from an early age.
KoKOFIFI believes “smart women love to feast on fashion” and at reasonable prices. Now with the recent launch of their online boutique, you can find irresistible, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces like a mod canary yellow Chanel dress straight out the pages of 1960s Vogue, a vintage red linen sweet dress by MaxMara, or a pair deep burgundy Italian velvet pumps by Proenza Schouler .
Since last year, KoKOFIFI has been featured in South Africa’s top women’s glossy, Destiny. They also hosted a successful pop-up store in SoHo called “Shebeen” (term for Soweto speak-easy) where guests could shop, enjoy drinks and also presenters on South African culture. Magogodi say’s she hopes to keep things exciting and fun. Check out KoKOFIFI for great fashion tips, events and add an international, classic flare to your wardrobe.
– Shahida Muhammad