WORDS Garreth van Niekerk PHOTOS Jan Ras
MAXHOSA AFRICA, the pioneering South African fashion label helmed by designer Laduma Ngxokolo, has opened a luxurious store in Cape Town.
Since its early days in 2010, the MAXHOSA AFRICA brand has been on a stellar trajectory, rapidly developing into a local design powerhouse.
Now, with the recent launch of a space at the Victoria Wharf shopping centre (a sister store for the existing flagship at Johannesburg’s Mall of Africa), founder Laduma Ngxokolo is taking MAXHOSA to a new level.
Located in the upper mall, MAXHOSA Cape Town ramps up the luxury offering of the Joburg store. Featuring sleek chrome rails for the brand’s signature fashion pieces, and wall-to-wall MAXHOSA carpeting handwoven in KwaZulu- Natal, the space is a brilliant blend of colour and pattern that takes its cues from traditional beadwork and Ndebele graphics.
“We went all out because we wanted to tell a strong story to the Cape Town market, which is an important audience for us as a brand,” Laduma says. “It isn’t the same as Joburg. We wanted to speak to the tourists, to visitors from all over Africa – and we also wanted to tell a story to the Cape Town natives.”
One of the standout elements of the space is a piece by artist Nelson Makamo, whose reputation continues to expand in international art circles. The work has also been reproduced as a woven collaborative piece with MAXHOSA.
“About two years ago, Nelson and I discussed doing a collab,” says Laduma. “We decided to drive to the Lesotho mountains to meet with the best weavers in the country, who work with 100% mohair. Nelson brought a template of the artwork to them, and we ended up working with a single person to realise it. The finished product arrived in Cape Town eight weeks later. When Covid-19 arrived in March, Save A Business approached us to help them raise funds. So we auctioned the piece, and it raised R690 000, which was then donated to save small businesses.”
The designer says the response from Capetonians to the new space has already been fantastic – which bodes well for the latest phase of this inspiring South African success story.
For more information, visit maxhosa.africa.