'We get our looks from our mom' - Limpopo brothers model at Milan Fashion Week together

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Denetric and Lebo Malope modelled together at Milan Fashion Week.
Denetric and Lebo Malope modelled together at Milan Fashion Week.

They get their beauty from their mom and their creativity from their grandmother. 

With a winning combination like that, they were bound to make it far in the modelling industry. But it's still surreal, because not only do they get to walk international stages, these Limpopo brothers have now achieved one of their dreams.

They walked side by side at the Milan Fashion Week Spring 2023.

Denetric and Lebo Malope tell Drum they have always loved to model, but Denetric says in South Africa he was not seen or recognized.

“I started being international last year in May when I travelled to Milan and did Prada and Dolce&Gabbana. With Lebo I was waiting for the right time to introduce him to the industry, he’s a beautiful boy but I needed the correct timing. He started early this year but went international in the beginning of June. We ended up at fashion week because it was a season and we had to be there according to what our management says,” says Denetric, a design graduate from Tshwane University of Technology.

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Denetric (23) says it was wonderful walking the ramp with his 17-year-old brother.

“Walking along side my brother felt like a dream come true. We used to speak a lot about this especially Fendi, it was always in the conversations. I was so nervous about Lebo but he told me ‘relax, I got this’ and I was so happy to watch him do his thing,” says the proud big brother.

They are originally from Elandskraal in Limpopo and Denetric says their mother is very proud of their success.

“She’s our biggest cheer leader, she always reminds us how proud she is and tells us how much she loves us.”

They are both quite tall, towering 1.8m Denetric says they grew up in a warm, loving and supporting home.

“Our parents always encourage us to do the best we can and to do everything that makes us happy. They are always our biggest cheerleaders. We have always been allowed to do what we want. I studied IT, but after a year and half, I switched to fashion and I found my passion.”

Their grandmother was a popular dress maker in their community.

“My grandmother is a creative person, and she is very proud of us. When she realized I was following in her footsteps, she encouraged me and said if I take it seriously it can take me places and now it has.”

They come from a family of three sons and their eldest brother Boitumelo is a social butterfly that loves farming.

The modeling brothers say they owe their good looks to their mother.

“We look like our mom, and we have her facial structure. Lebo looks like her the most because they have the same complexion. Of course, I was teased about being tall and skinny when I was at high school. Now that it's working for me, everyone from high school is just amazingly shocked.”

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When they were notified that they are the chosen models, the people at Fendi did not know they are brothers.

“Well how it happened is that we were cast just like every model. There were so many of us, I guess the best were chosen and we happened to be part of that.”

Denetric switched to fashion and graduated virtually last year because he was already based in Europe. Lebo is still in high school. He is in grade 10 at a Pretoria High School.

“He’s really excited because he is such a hard worker. We have been delaying it a bit but we have been anticipating it, hoping it goes well for him. The other day he said he doesn’t want to go home.”

They are making big international moves and Denetric says. “I do not like saying what’s next or talking about my plans, all I can say is relax and enjoy.”

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