Laduma Ngxokolo

Laduma Ngxokolo has taken the traditions and arts of his native South African Xhosa culture and reimagined them as striking and elegant high-fashion statements. Starting with his belief that Western-styled clothing should not be used in the context of Xhosa rituals, he struck on the idea of making modern knitwear based on the extraordinary traditional beadwork of his people, using locally sourced mohair. His colorful, patterned sweaters and vests for men—and now the jackets and skirts in his women’s wear line, as well as the blankets in his interiors offshoot—reflect the intricacy and precision of those handicrafts. In 2010 he started his knitwear brand with the support of his alma mater, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and subsequently launched his brand, MaXhosa, in early 2011. Though he is still in training—he won a scholarship to the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London, where he will be studying for his master’s—his designs have graced runways in Paris, Oslo, and Johannesburg and been featured in fashion editorials. Ngxokolo was awarded Vogue’s inaugural Scouting for Africa prize in early 2015.

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