Let’s get one thing straight Jenny Andrew was a Kween. If you work PR, you will attest to the fact that she most often honoured an invitation to the hottest fashion to-dos in town- on time, looking sharp and o’ so fashionably stylish. I knew Jenny. We didn’t exactly hang out for chit-chats over high tea here and there. However, chit-chats we did have every time we bumped into each other; exclusively at fashion events that is.
I have a few memorable moments I hold of Jenny. For one, I knew that she often was very annoyed when events were running late as she always had something to do, people to meet and places to go to. Often I wondered how she kept going and had the patience for most things at her seasoned age.
I loved hearing her travel tales- every time she’d flown out of the country for an international fashion event and happened to spy it on her social media. I would look forward to seeing her upon her return so I can hear all about it. I loved hearing about the high-ranking fashion people she met on her fabulous trips and the experience of it all.
As a young stylist, I loved hearing about the shoots she once styled. I remember the one time she was telling me about YFM publicity shoots she used to style. She was lovingly reminiscing about the personalities she worked with whilst they were on their come-up; how seeing them now just made her happy.
I remember a few year ago, at a Cartier launch, I was standing outside the store with Jenny and Thulane Hadebe, champagne flutes in hand talking about sweet nothings when an emerging photographer approached her and mid-conversation asked Jenny if they could possibly do a test shoot together. Needless to say, Jenny’s response was a classic, sharp one-liner “I don’t do test shoots, darling“. I glanced at Thulane, he already knew what time it was, we burst out laughing. It was GENIUS. Even to date, Thulane would randomly call me and remind of that moment. We loooved it. From that day onwards I looked forward to paying my dues as a stylist and reaching a point when I could use that line.
I was once on her sharp receiving end as well. This one time I saw Jenny at an event. My tongue slipped and I said ‘Hello Jenny Andrews’ she gave me that fierce look and briskly matter-of-fact said: “My name is Jenny Andrew, without the S”. I was just like oops, what a way to make an ass out of yourself Jerri!
The last time I was with Jenny was a few weeks back at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg 17. My last conversation with Jenny was our usual catch up, a giggle, a little shade here and there and everything in between. Midst all of that I remember her telling me how she enjoyed the seating at the shows “… I mean how fabulous was it just sitting next to Nathi Mthethwa for that show. He is such a pleasant guy” she said. I knowingly smiled as I had snuck a few pictures of her before the shows. As she was sitting across the ramp from me. She went on to tell me about the time she got an opportunity to work on a shoot where she styled him, to which I fished on how she found the jobs where she had to dress powerful businessmen and politicians. She dished, and I marveled at the details.
Jenny Andrew was such a sight to behold. I always tried to sneak a picture of her or asked to take a portrait of her. She was absolutely beautiful, rare, tender, stylish and a visionary with taste. She paved the way and I will forever be grateful for forces like Jenny Andrew within the South African fashion fraternity. Till we meet again Jenny.
Illustrations Credit: ©Logan Hign Illustration |©Linda Jonsson
Photography Credit: ©Logan Hign IllustrationJerri Mokgofe