Thando Hopa sits down with us to talk about her fascinating history – modelling career, albinism, and her fight for equal representation.
Thando Hopa is a woman of many faces. Model, lawyer, writer, activist, motivational speaker – the list goes on and on. Having gained notoriety in the fashion world as one of South Africa’s pre-eminent models, Thando is using her platform to shine light on social issues integral to the betterment of our country and its people. And her fight is from from over.
“Children don’t understand something that is different, and so I saw myself often being a victim of name-calling, insults and nasty comments. My parents and family, however, loved and treated me like a little princess and until this day, their love helps me be tolerant to people who don’t understand my skin condition. But I haven’t completely broken free from the stereotypes society places on black women. Your sense of understanding of yourself is a continuous thing and you’ll make mistakes as you go along.” Thando shares the struggles she faced growing up.
This year Thando was announced as one of the 17 famous faces from the world of fashion, music and cinema to be featured in the 2018 Pirelli calendar that has chosen to feature an all-black cast including Whoopi Goldberg, Ru Paul and model-turned-feminist-activist Adwoa Aboah.
The Pirelli Calendar, captured this year by renowned photographer Tim Walker and was styled by Edward Enninful, the new editor of British Vogue and explored the theme 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland'.
“Inclusivity is more part of the conversation than it has ever been before, but it goes far beyond black and white,” says Enninful in an article in The New York Times.
On being featured in the calendar Thando said, “I hope that people see the intention of this. Personally I don’t find it controversial … I think people really should see the end goal and not obsess in the myopia … this is a unifying effort because now you have Alice looking differently from the way she does. Alice can be anyone.”