An exclusive dive into the life of one African man colouring the world of men’s fashion, one dapper-look at a time!
Born Levi Maluvele some 36 years ago, Paris based Men’s Fashion Influencer King Levi was born in a lowly Mozambican home and raised by a mother who doubled as a father.
The last of 4 children (2 boys & 2 girls) , he was the type of child that will never stay idle, always seeking new ways to better his lot as a poor African boy as seeing his mother give all she had – yet so little seemed painful to watch.
Amidst his lack, Levi would always combine his very few outfits neatly and perfectly that people often thought he was from a rich home.
He later moved in with his aunt whiles in secondary school and stayed peacefully with her until age 20 where he had his first opportunity to travel abroad to Canada for a volunteering work.
Whiles in Canada, he continued to look good and command attention that he became the sharpest dresser amongst his peers and that landed him on the front cover of a local Canadian newspaper , A very excited Levi would keep the newspaper for several years to come.
– ‘My Style has always been something people talk about’
Shortly after returning from Canada, he proceeded to South-Africa for his university studies and whiles there, he gathered even more fan base and did a lot of appearances on fashion weeks such as the Mercedes Benz fashion week, South Africa Fashion week etc.
On this fateful day, a vey good friend of his advised him on taking fashion seriously and urged him to try out presenting, that landed him as a host on a top fashion television talk show where he talked about fashion and style.
This inturn made him a special guest on every leading fashion television talkshow in southern Africa at the time and raised his social media followings quite tremendously.
‘ There was So much attention on me that I decided to use Fashion as a tool to inspire young people to live their dreams’
His Fashion Inspiration comes from the weather and the seasons, knowing the right colours to wear at different times and seasons is one of his greatest assets.
Returning back to Mozambique to pick up an offer with the United Nations, he was relocated to Morocco where he lived with his wife and son started his shoe line.
He founded the KLD Agency while still based in Mozambique.
He initially started his brand; King Levi Dapper Modelling Agency simply to promote and place Mozambican models in international fashion weeks, the company later grew to becoming a full fashion agency offering talent management services, Fashion production and Fashion designing.
The KLD Agency founded the FANCY FASHION SHOW in a bid to create more jobs for models and designers in a seemingly dull Mozambican fashion scene to showcase talent and creativity, the Fancy Fashion Show is arguably the biggest fashion show in Mozambique having ran for two successful seasons.
Fancy Fashion Show which had eight (8) designers from South-africa and Mozambique
in it’s first season had a major leap in the second season with over twenty (20) designers and 45 models.
‘I am very private with my private life, I protect my wife from the public eye because a king will always protect his queen’
In a bid to get into his privacy we talked about love and marriage as we learn that he met his wife about 14 years ago and they dated for 4 years, he is married for 10 years with a son named IAN KING.
‘The very reason i am called KING LEVI is because my son was made in the French royal house, I am a father to a King so I’m also a king too’
‘The secret to staying long in marriage is having someone that really loves and understands you’
He recently launched his shoe line (Vicious Shoes) which are currently being made in Morocco where he had lived for two years, he is grateful to God for seeing him through the successful launch of his shoe line having lost all his savings to starting Fancy Fashion show a year earlier.
‘My style would be defined as a Bold mix of colours inspired by the different seasons’
‘Being a fashion influencer or brand influencer has made me understand the need for personal growth and consistency, I used to be careful of where and how I take my pictures but now I’m a lot free and spontaneous, I shoot where ever I find myself and my wife and son have been my greatest photographers’
‘We take photos anywhere and I’m very comfortable posting anything now, I hardly worry about editing or filters as the sun is my greatest weapon of style’
On earning as a brand influencer, he mentioned that for him it started as a way of life and he enjoyed seeing great comments on each photo he posts until he began getting product offers and now endorsement deals starting off at 3,000 USD per post.
He shares examples of being given free flight tickets just to market an airline, free lunch and dinner to market top restaurants etc.
His advice to those looking up to him would be to stay original and define thier own path.
On travels, he has been to over 14 countries within and outside the continent of Africa, he hopes to visit the United states soon as that is one place he is yet to visit.
Having studied for his masters in the United Kingdom, he urged more fashion enthusiasts to take education seriously as the business side of every business is the core and most important part of it.
In 10 years he hopes to be the biggest African fashion influencer producing the biggest fashion show in southern Africa and having his clothing and shoe brands stocking worldwide.
On sexuality, he stresses that even though he prefers to be with women, he urges people to equally respect men who prefer to be with other men.
‘I am happy to be in a world that allows people make their own choices’
His last words are:
‘Thank you guys and see you in Mozambique for Fancy Fashion Show ’19 ‘.
Article by Teinye Boyle for GuyManStyle Magazine.