Namibia may not be the fashion capital of the world but one man named Lourens Loux Gebhardt, who goes by Loux the Vintage Guru, has a passion for the art of thrift shopping and styling, which may be on the verge of sparking a fashion revolution in Africa. As a self-proclaimed “hipster” (which he describes as someone with the freedom of creative expression and influence on fashion sense), Loux takes vintage clothes from his father's generation and adds his modern touch to them.
Though he admits that money is an issue when trying to find success in fashion, he has perfected the art of buying inexpensive clothing and coming off as wealthy. He says, “A lot of the vendors [here] don't really realise the value of what they're selling because many people aren't interested in wearing vintage, they just see it as ‘used clothing'… I manage to dress myself cheaply and end up looking like a million bucks.”
The designer, stylist, and tailor is consumed by his enthusiasm for fashion, something that has been growing within him since his childhood. As a young boy in Africa, Loux's grandfather once told him, “My son, fashion is what you adopt when you don't yet know who you are, make sure you are always well-dressed" and he has kept his words of advice with him all these years. Now, in addition to seeking out vintage clothing and dressing for success on a daily basis, he shares his gift of style with others.
Loux is currently collaborating with Khumbula, a group of stylists and designers from Johannesburg, South Africa, to “show the fashion world that we can unite as one in the African continent.” He says, “When we collaborate we call ourself LIA (Love is African) and we're currently playing a big part by simply inspiring fashionistas around the African continent.”