The Bearded Muse is a blog focusing on menswear, grooming and covering lifestyle content such as events, food and design founded by South African stylish man Thato Mahapa.
You will spot him in a bomber jacket, Crisp button up shirt, Long sleeve printed sweatshirt, Beige chinos, among other cool and subtle attires, making his dress code very catchy and clean. Thato is not afraid of colour, whether whites, blues, greens or pinks, his fashion sense definitely brings out his personality.
The obvious question, tell us about yourself
I am Thato ‘TeeKay’ Mahapa; A South African creative, menswear blogger and influencer based in Johannesburg studying towards an LLB degree at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University). I enjoy going out, exploring art galleries, golf and cooking (good food generally).
What is The Bearded Muse all about and how did you come up with the name and concept?
The Bearded Muse is a platform I created to share fresh, local menswear content that resonates with the modern gent. The gent who strives to be ‘slicker than the average’: The gent who wants to look good but not be an archetype; buy quality, but be conservative on the pocket; be peculiar but not loud; the man who does it effortlessly. This is a platform to lean the do’s and don’ts, the ‘don’t forgets’, and the ‘take notes’ of menswear and lifestyle through my personal experiences and perspective.
The name came from my friends who started referring to me as “the bearded god” (I know, I know), but I couldn’t use that as I didn’t believe that it was an accurate description of me. So I brainstormed with a good friend of mine and fellow blogger, Twiggy Moli, and I felt that “The Bearded Muse” resonated better with who I am and what I would like to be to other people. A muse is usually defined as “a source of inspiration…” and that is what I aim to be for the people who visit my blog.
Any projects or services you have undertaken that you would like to mention?
I’ve worked with Joburg based blogger, Siya Beyile on a local campaign for GAP. Aside from fashion I am part of a collective called Broke Niggaz which is a YouTube vlog about friends in their early twenties living in Johannesburg (http://trueafrica.co/article/broke-niggaz-web-series-straight-outta-joburg/).
How would you describe your experience in fashion and style?
Well, firstly I think that the two are different concepts. Being fashionable is the process of matching current trends with what you’re wearing. It is your relationship to the external world. Style, to me, refers to my personal acumen when it comes to dressing and grooming. The internal relationship that I have with the way that I look: my identity, how I want to be perceived, and how that is reflected and expressed in what I am wearing. The emphasis on fashion is placed on the clothing where as with style the emphasis is place on me as a person.
Do you have any style influences?
Yes. My biggest style influence over the years has been my brother Thabiso (@thabisobm). He’s the one that taught me the very basics of style, building my wardrobe and how to represent myself through the way that I dress. I also look up to a few other style icons such as David Beckham, Nick Wooster, and recently ASAP Rocky.
You are given an opportunity to raid two people’s closet, who are your picks?
Definitely David Beckham/Tinie Tempah and ASAP Rocky; I know you said two, but all three of their styles represent me and what I aspire to be. Even in other aspects beyond fashion.
Give us 3 most important style tips that men should always remember?
Basics first: when you build your wardrobe, like a house, you need a foundation. It’s important to get your basics right and get the right items in colors you can wear over and over again and just change styling. So focus on buying foundational items and colours that you will not regret buying when the season ends. For example, don’t try to buy an olive green suit/coat if you don’t have a navy, grey or black one first
“Fashion is temporary but style is eternal” so choose what you buy, not according to trends, but according to your personal style.
Always make sure that you are well groomed: your hair and beard (if you’re part of #beardgang) must always be neat and healthy. In the same breadth, invest in perfume; make sure you smell good all the time.
What is your fashion favorite and what is the most likely dominant item in your closet?
My fashion favourite has to be blazers; Blazers in all colours, materials and styles. You can wear a blazer with almost anything from formal pants, shorts to even sweat pants. Those are the most dominant items in my closet.
How long do you take to dress up?
It really depends on the time I have, and if I already have an outfit in mind. But I’d say about 15/20 minutes max when I know what I want to wear; twice as long if I don’t.
What would we be surprised to know about you?
That I can actually cook haha! And oh, Im good chess
What plans do you have going forth?
To provide services such as personal styling and shopping, brand and image consulting/development and trend forecasting.
One of your best quotes?
“Your style is your way of introducing yourself without saying word” not sure where I got it from though.
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PS: You will notice my site showing 2 shares, 1 share etc. So I woke up yesterday to my social counters gone! If you try sharing via Facebook, twitter, it won’t reflect on the site. However I tried running few posts on Facebook debbuger and from there I can see the counters. I am having the issue resolved so kindly do not stop sharing, just some problem with access tokens API or maybe plugin not sure at the moment. Even if it doesn’t reflect just share! Thanks. You will see this reminder on my posts till the issue is resolved so kindly bear with me. Sharing is supporting!