Charl arrived at Elle Decoration early last year, fresh from a backpacking trip through Africa, sporting the most defined vest tan and wild beard we had ever seen. Charl still sports this rugged beard for his new job as DECO’s online editor, carefully matching the look with his signature trademark shorts and acid yellow watch. DECO editor Laureen Rossouw pins Charl down for 10 minutes to answer these quick questions…

You have a twin brother? Are you similar? Apparently we look similar, but we don’t dress the same. Not any more… John, my twin brother, would NEVER wear these colour combos and tiny shorts!

Did your mother dress you the same when you were small? Oh definitely. We looked really cute with our colour coded and matching outfits.

Above: “Featuring the Anna Wintour bob!”

Are you very close to your twin brother? We’re very close. He feels like my other half.

What’s your nickname? People call me John…

At what point did you separate? When I went off to study design at Stellenbosch University and John to study architecture at the University of Cape Town.

Above: ‘The bearded twins’, illustration by Renee Rossouw

What do you like about working for Elle Decoration? I’ve always wanted to work for Elle Decoration. I like how it’s not defined by trends or fashion, yet helps define them. It’s the effortlessness of the brand that I’m drawn to.

Above: Charl picks his favourite DECO covers: “Spring 2010, Outdoor 2010, and our new Spring issue 2011. We’ve developed quite a thing for close-ups.”

You started as DECO’s designer, when did you become interested in online? I finally realised that my interests had less to do with the medium, and more with the editing process. I’m extremely interested in what online has to offer: researching, compiling, writing, and editing, all in one package. Visuals have now taken a back-seat role… although the temptation still lingers to make things pretty.

What is on your wish list? A holiday to Paris or NY. But more seriously though, a new pair of original Camper shoes. My pair is completely worn out, yet I still wear them, in denial that my one toe has forced its way through the front…

If you could live in any film, what would it be? The English Patient.

Above: Encounters during a trip to Lamu, Kenya.

*Photographs: Justin Patrick, Myrtle Edwards and Heike Toussaint