The Big Bad Ricci-Lee Kalish

The Big Bad Ricci-Lee Kalish

Ricci-Lee Kalish on her style, blog and the future of the fashion industry

DOB 9th January 1992. Proud Capricorn
POB Johannesburg
Favorite Movie You’re asking an honors film graduate to choose just one?! Maybe Fargo or Reservoir Dogs or The Shining
Favorite Moto “The Opposite of Love isn’t hate it’s indifference’ & ‘Give credit where credits due”
Favorite food Most things Thai
Pet Peeve People who chew with their mouths open, having to fill my car up with petrol & incompetence!
3 things you can’t live without Books, my cellphone & shoes

Tell me about your childhood and what did you want be?
I have been blessed with the most beautiful childhood, so much so my nostalgia can become problematic. Being raised by a professional dancer I always wanted to be a dancer which I was on the verge of.

How did it all start for the Big Bad Wolf and what is it about? 
I saw a vacuum within the blogging world to really speak my mind. I have toned down my feistiness, yet I still stand true to what I believe and what I expect. Big Bad Wolf is all about offering a different perspective of the fashion and lifestyle world within South Africa. We have this terrible inferiority complex. We believe if it’s from the US or England or Europe it must be better than ours. Having had the privilege to travel I think it’s my duty to make South Africans realise how our country is one of the top in the world.

Which city are you in? 
Johannesburg right now. Then Cape Town for the next couple of months.

In your opinion what do you think the fashion industry should change and what should stay the same?
We need to change the ideology that the older, more well-known designers are the true talents. We HAVE to start focusing on young, up and comers. Those are the people who are changing the game. We also need to stop thinking ball gowns are fashion. They are beautiful and a massive amount of work goes into designing them. I just think we need to find another platform for evening-wear to show. We should never change the beautiful ‘creolization’ that we have so interestingly constructed. The beautiful juxtaposition of the West and Africa have created some of the most beautiful designs. And since this debate has come to the forefront: being more proudly South African, it seems the younger designers are the ones throwing themselves into this style of designing. They are not denying their influence yet are making sure their African roots come through stronger than ever.

How would you describe your personal style? 
If I have to try I would say classic with a millennial-twist.

How does the city influence your style and your perspective on life?
Johannesburg is my baby. The juxtaposition of West meets Africa truly influences me. Being able to be eclectic in every sense of my being. Within a relatively tiny country everyone comes from incredibly diverse backgrounds. The good, the bad and the ugly of it. We are constantly debating and finding new ways to move forward and I believe that is what makes me a better person. The fact that I want to be informed on matters I have never even thought of and being able to see how discourse truly affects every part of a being, yet still being able to live in peace is an incredible feat of humanity. It’s made me a lot less cynical of the human race.

With everyone being an influencer/blogger, how do you remain relevant?
The only way I try and do it is by being authentically me. My audience have been so incredibly supportive, and that makes me want to stick to being me. People are accepting me for me- something I never expected to ever happen. I also believe when a blogger tries to write for everyone they essentially write for no one. It’s about knowing your target market and who you want to read your content.

Would you ever consider relocating to Cape Town?
I never say never as I would love to live by the beach someday. I may be a Jozi/city baby, yet my favourite place in the world is lying on Clifton beach all day with a book in hand. So it is a possibility in the future but not the near future.

Lastly, what lies on the horizon for you? Are there any new business ventures, lined up for 2019?
I am one of those people that cannot even tell you where I’ll be in 5 months. I guess that makes my life very exciting and it forces me to be more open to experiences. I know that one day I would love to be the creative director of a fashion label. As I never studied fashion or design I would need a designer but I want to have the ultimate say. I would also love to open up my own charity helping illegal immigrants get their papers so they are promised a better life.

Article written by


Subscribe to any of our other exciting magazine titles by clicking on the covers below