Designer plans UK success

Yoliswa Sobuwa

FRESH from the catwalks of Paris, a Nelson Mandela Bay textile designer is on his way to London where he will study at a top arts school.

Laduma Ngxokolo, 26, of KwaDwesi, has been awarded a scholarship to complete his Masters in textile futures at the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.

“This is one of the biggest opportunities in my life. It feels like I have been given another responsibility on top of my knitwear brand. This opportunity will help me grow as a designer in so many ways,” he said.

Ngxokolo started knitting while in Standard 6 (Grade 8) at Lawson Brown High School.

He would help his late mother, knitting jerseys, hats and scarves at a time when most other boys his age were playing soccer in the street.

His passion for knitting paid off with the launch of his Xhosa knitwear range, under the label Maxhosa. Earlier this year, he showcased his work at the Labo Ethnik Fashion Week in Paris.

“The show was more of my brand’s introduction to the France market. The fashion week was African-inspired and I decided to go with “My Inheritance, My Heritage”.

“This is something I dedicated to my late mother as she taught me about my heritage,” Ngxokolo said.

“It has been a great gift and without it I wouldn’t have got the scholarship to study at one of the best design schools in the world.”

Ngxokolo supplies his designs to a Cape Town boutique and also has clients in Mozambique, New York, Amsterdam and London.

The designer will have an exhibition at The Athenaeum in Central, Port Elizabeth, on September 19 before he jets off the next day.

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