To match her natural beauty, the photogenic Madikizela-Mandela was a snazzy dresser and used African fabrics and designs to showcase and celebrate her culture.
South African designers such as Warrick Gautier loved her.
“The way in which Mam’ Winnie styled herself brought a broad element of fashion. She created a uniquely South African look. From the 1960s to the Sophiatown looks, she brought it all together and made it relevant to the essence of what is happening,” said Gautier.
Fashion designer, Keletso Moraba, also had praise for Madikizela-Mandela.
“Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was both stylish and an influence. She looked younger than her age and the way in which she modernised traditional wear was magnificent. I took inspiration from her heavy beading accessorising style and incorporated it with traditional waistbands in some of my designs,” said Moraba, who was a finalist in David Tlale’s The Intern on TV.
As this day marks exactly one year since the struggle icon passed on, many have taken to Twitter to celebrate the life of mama Winnie:
On this #ChooseDay, exactly a year ago, a hero, a mother and a legend found eternal peace. Her legacy of fighting for a democratic and fair society will live on. We salute you Mama #WinnieMadikizelaMandela #WinnieMandela pic.twitter.com/YekskYW3vl— Christo (@ChristoThurston) April 2, 2019
On this day last year, we lost our mother, the people’s president, our pillar, our last remaining compass! But we gained a powerful ancestor✊🏿 siyabulela mama #WinnieMadikizelaMandela— KingTha (@thandiswamazwai) April 2, 2019
Big Mama words fail me. The reality of your loss still so hard to swallow, even after all this time. Your giant presence, strength&resilience has left a hole, but also a legacy in which to carry forward.— CATHERINE Constantinides (@ChangeAgentSA) April 2, 2019
Your legacy is our responsibility #WinnieMadikizelaMandela #SheMultiplied ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/1h7qmi0HDL
Madikizela-Mandela may have died at age 81 on April 2, but she leaves behind a legacy as a phenomenal woman of style and substance.