Q&A: Laduma Nxgokolo


INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring

Laduma Ngxokolo, one of South Africa’s most celebrated designers, will be speaking at Business of Design in Johannesburg, taking place from 18 ­– 19 October.

We caught up with him ahead of the conference to find out more about career highlights, collections and what’s next for MaXhosa. 

Your mother taught you to hand-machine knit when you were 16-years-old. Do you think this is where your creative journey started?

Yes, my late mother, Lindelwa Nxgokolo, was a knitwear designer and I am honoured to continue her legacy. She inspired me to be creative and proud of my culture.

What do you love most about creating?

I like creating new ideas every season. The innovation is fascinating and opens up more ideas for future MaXhosa designs.

@akellopatricia striding in #MAXHOSA SS17 matching ensemble. | ?: @jerrimokgofe

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#MAXHOSA SS17 men’s pattern game combo. | ?: @jerrimokgofe

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@akellopatricia ? in #MAXHOSA SS17 linen tasseled crew & matching skirt.

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Which one of your collections do you feel best represents what you stand for as a designer, and why?

A/W14 still stands as the collection that best represents me because it’s a good representation of the ideology of reimagining innovative knitwear designs for Xhosa natives if colonisation hadn’t taken place. The designs are futuristic and the science in the design interprets Xhosa beadwork.

What’s your biggest career highlight so far?

There are many! One of my best highlights was winning the 2016 Most Stylish Designer Award at the SA STYLE Awards.

What’s next for MaXhosa by Laduma?

The next step is to move into the lifestyle design space. My style is very versatile and can be applied to a lot of design methods.

Browse MaXhosa by Laduma designs at maxhosa.co.za.

*VISI reader offer: Pay only R3 500 instead of R3 950 for the two-day Business of Design conference in Cape Town (11 – 12 October) or Johannesburg (18 – 19 October). To take up this offer, email tracy@businessofdesign.co.za with VISI as the subject. To view the full programme in each city, visit businessofdesign.co.za.