Covid-19 forces jobless ex-beauty editor to think out the box and land top job
Johannesburg - Zipho Ntloko, 27, has been growing her brand in the creative industry for the last five years. She has several titles under her name, including creative director, editor and beauty brand consultant.
“I initially started as a make-up artist and now in the past three years I have been in the creative direction.”
Since the age of 16, Ntloko had been interested in cosmetics and while she was working in retail, she had a colleague who was related to the beauty assistant at Cosmopolitan magazine.
“That’s how I got in and that solidified my love for cosmetics. As I started in the media industry. I felt like our publications at that time when it came to representation and diversity, it wasn’t to the degree that media is today.
“I stuck it out because as a kid I was so used to seeing one type of girl in the media and never any girls who looked like me or my diverse social circle.”
She lost her job as beauty editor at Cosmopolitan in March after her employers, Associated Media Publishing, closed due to lockdown and economic pressures.
“Around May was when it really took a toll on me mentally and emotionally, especially with what was happening with society as a whole. Between losing my job and being worried about the health of my loved ones, it hit me really hard.”
She had to eventually get off her emotional roller-coaster and decided to do something creative.
“Covid-19 kind of showed me what I could do with limited resources. All I had was my bedroom, a laptop and a ring light and I was able to create stuff.
“I used a curtain to create editorial content; I made garments out of it, I made earrings out of ice blocks, and crazy arty stuff. I dreamt about concepts. That was the beauty of being isolated and sitting with your thoughts and finding new ways to be creative.”
Her work was eventually recognised by international creatives and employers. Ntloko has always preached about opening opportunities to people who don’t have the resources.
She is now the beauty editor at Foschini Beauty.
“I kick-started a web series for them and that’s how our relationship started. A lot of people don’t know that they have some of the best beauty departments among the national retail stores in South Africa.
“From hair salons to make-up stores, they wanted to launch a multibrand beauty community that allows all 75 brands they have in house to collaborate and be housed under one platform.”