When is the right time to learn more about the fashion brands exhibited at the last Luxury Connect Africa trade exhibition and keynotes? Now. Even more when it calls out one of the brands mentioned in my recent publication.
All Maxhosa by Laduma, Imane Ayissi and Tiffany Amber brands were exhibited as leading lights of what Africa can bring to the table of the international luxury fashion scene. In other words, there were showcased as institutions such as Chanel or Dior could be considered as invitations to the French culture, savoir-faire and crafts.
As I told you in the article WISH AFRICA EXPO London 2019, I had a chance to have conversations with the designers about their work.
MAXHOSA by Laduma
Maxhosa is a South African women and men knitwear brand which patterns and designs are inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork. The brand was created by Laduma Ngxokolo. You can learn more about Laduma Ngxokolo’s inspiration here.
I interviewed Laduma’s sister Tina Ngxoloko, the other figurehead of the brand. She was very enthusiastic to answer my questions. Getting down to it, there is not only one man behind Maxhosa by Laduma management but four siblings working together for a long-lasting influence of the Xhosa culture around the globe. Laduma and Tina are the creative minds – while the two other siblings support the brand on the operations and financial side. Their studies in Fashion have certainly paved the way to their current roles. Laduma, founder of the brand and Production Manager studied Textiles while his sister Tina, Creative Director of the brand studied Fashion design.
“We grew up in fashion.”
I was surprised that both of them had the same vocation for clothes. Tina explained it was their dressmaker mother influence: “We grew up in fashion. There were always trims, fabrics around because of our mother”.
Getting more into details about the brand, I wanted to know who are Maxhosa clients. Tina told me how much she is always surprised that any identity can relate to their designs. She does not fully understand why they keep on being asked who do they design for. They are offering their creations to the world. They do not want to put themselves or to be put into boxes. They do not want to limit themselves. They want anybody to relate to their clothes.
“We don’t do trends, we’re not about them.”
When it comes to cuts and styles, Maxhosa pieces follow a classic line: simple polo shirts, cardigans, jumpers or bodycon dresses and skirts. Tina insisted on their will to create a timeless wardrobe: “We don’t do trends, we’re not about them.”. They also keep consistency in their choice of fabric across their collection. They mostly use wool, mohair, linen and chiffon to answer the weather question on any part of the globe as Tina explained at the time. They actually extended their designs to outwear in their recent AW19 collection – check their Instagram! I guess they kind of twisted a little bit of trend there with their velvet puffers – one of my favs.
For those who might be interested in going beyond their ready-to-wear collections, they started doing Made-to-order orders this year to answer the most specific requests of their dearest clientele.
You obviously must have a deep love for colors to go for Maxhosea pieces.
Now, find one of my favourite visuals below.