Empowering Stories: Luke Diva On Confidence, Representation & Being A Bad Bitch



This story is the second of many empowering stories that inspire us. Stay tuned for more #EmpoweringStories from incredible people around the world.

This year, we started a series of takeovers across our Huda Beauty social channels to share stories of empowerment from people all over the world. We wanted to open the discussion board, pass the mic, and learn from different experiences, and we’re honored to share their stories with you.

Today, we’re excited and privileged to share Luke Diva‘s story and their many pearls of wisdom with you all. Luke Diva is a fashion editor and content creator from South Africa – bold, fierce, and literally radiating in confident energy that feels infectious. Whether creating stunning content for social media or partnering with beauty brands to create interesting and fresh content, Luke Diva has an undeniable presence and vibe. It’s unapologetically authentic, and that’s something so special that we can all learn from.

One thing that really stood out to us when we spoke to Luke Diva was their love for their community and huge respect for their friends and family. Luke Diva also understands the value of putting yourself first and doing what makes you feel good, confident, and like the bad bitch you are! So without further ado, here’s the incredible Luke Diva.

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A post shared by Luke (@lukediva_)

1. Tell us about yourself and how and why you got into the beauty and fashion space?

I am a fashion editor and content creator from Cape Town, South Africa. After graduating from the Design Academy of Fashion in 2016, I immediately entered the world of beauty and fashion. However, I got my first taste of the beauty and fashion industry after job-shadowing at Marie Claire when I was 16 years old – I knew then and there that I was destined for this life. Upon graduating and hustling my way into the Condé Nast South Africa offices, I found myself working as a fashion intern, and I’ve now been hired as the newly appointed fashion editor of both GQ and Glamour Magazine South Africa.


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A post shared by HUDA KATTAN (@hudabeauty)

2. Tell us about your journey as an influencer? How did you get started with it?

In fact, this is actually the one question that I struggle to answer because I am not sure when and how this all started for me. I think instead of planning it, I just happened to find myself in this position, naturally. Besides having worked in the fashion industry for a while, I have quite a huge personality; I genuinely love people, and socializing comes naturally to me – I think brands picked that up and noticed me at events (I am always the loud bubbly one) and gravitated towards that. I have had the opportunity to collaborate and partner with amazing brands on various fashion, beauty, and lifestyle campaigns in my personal capacity outside the magazine, and I guess I just went with it, and so now, creating content for brands as an influencer is just another side of Luke Diva.

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A post shared by Luke (@lukediva_)

3. Tell us a bit about your experience as a queer person moving through the industry in South Africa?

Navigating as a queer person of color in this industry when I started out at the magazine was challenging and I’d say, interesting at first. I was fresh out of fashion school entering this new, big world, and the first thing that I noticed was that I was the “wildcard” – I was the only feminine representation of a queer body at the office and even on some editorial sets that I have worked on. However, that didn’t scare me though; I took that as an opportunity and a responsibility even then and now to represent and hopefully inspire other queer creatives of color that you can make things happen by just being authentically, unapologetically, 100% you.


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A post shared by Luke (@lukediva_)

4. What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced in your journey so far, and how have you overcome them?

As a queer creative of color, not only in the industry but in the world, you are faced with challenges daily, whether it is someone misgendering you, calling you names, or side-eyeing you for your fashion choices – I can give you a list, but I am going to need more than just a one-page interview to give you a breakdown. But I am surrounded with love and support from friends and family, and most importantly, my bad bitch attitude. It takes a lot for me to feel defeated, I think I have built such a strong armor around protecting my space and sanity that I deal with everything head-on, and I always manage to come out stronger, informed, and ready to take on the next!

5. Are there any preconceived notions or narratives people often assume about you that you’d like to rewrite or redefine?

None of them really matter, I feel like, and I have always said that assumptions are dangerous, but for the positive tone of this question, I think the one thing that I always tell people that I actually want them to believe is that Luke Diva is really shy.

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A post shared by Luke (@lukediva_)

6. How does being a queer, South African creator of color influence your work?

It is the foundation and core of every project. No one can tell our stories and represent us better than we can, coming from our voices and our hands, first-hand tangible experiences. We have so much to offer and share; for so long, our stories were told for us, and taking that power and molding it into my work, whether it is as a fashion editor at a magazine or just the content I create, it needs to have that “me” signature, and that comes from my experiences and background and how I want to be seen and heard through my work.

7. Do you feel that beauty standards are beginning to be more inclusive?

In life, everything has the potential to grow and become better – I do love and commend how the conversations and representation of all races and genders have been given the platform they rightfully deserve, but it needs to become the norm and not a movement because we have been here before and we will be here again – so that needs to be the focus.

8. What do you think the beauty industry can do to create more visibility for members of the LGBTQIA+ community?

In my opinion, CONSISTENCY IS KEY! I would like beauty brands to reach out to the voices you wish to amplify and empower by listening to their needs, responding, and creating based on what you hear from them – be inclusive of us, but also include.

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A post shared by Luke (@lukediva_)

9. You are someone so many people will look up to! How do you think seeing someone like yourself doing what you’re doing today would have empowered your younger self?

My pre-teen life would have been so much easier if I knew that this would be Luke Diva, confident, self-assured, and beautiful, haha. Having a role model who resembled everything I am about, telling me that I am enough and it is okay to be me, would’ve been a big support growing up. I actually just teared up processing this question.

10. What does empowerment mean to you?

I define empowerment as the freedom and power to be who you are – and move with confidence.

11. What do you do to feel empowered? How do you lift yourself up and show yourself love when you’re not feeling your best?

Having conversations with myself and reflecting upon my life is important to me. I pray a lot and lean heavily on my friends too.

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A post shared by Luke (@lukediva_)

12. What advice would you give to others who want to follow in your footsteps?

Never dim your light, always serve the best version of yourself, and always put yourself first!

13. What’s next for Luke Diva? What are your goals and dreams for the future?

Let’s start with a Huda Beauty campaign model for a product launch for Luke Diva in the near future – and I want to continue to excel at what I am doing now. I want to embrace my current career path, and I want to take that to higher heights.


We are so grateful to Luke Diva for sharing their story with us – head over to our @hudabeauty Instagram today to see Luke Diva taking over our stories and find out more about their journey.