Laduma leading the knitwear revolution

Brazilian music group Dream Team do Passinho wearing Maxhosa by Laduma, Picture: Vincent Rossenblatt

Bay-born designer Laduma Ngxokolo is putting his stamp on international markets with extensive publicity on two hit music videos and a spot in New York’s Museum of Modern Art exhibition currently running.

Ngxokolo’s knitwear brand, Maxhosa by Laduma, has over the past five years of existence, received global recognition from the likes of US music icon Beyonce and internationally acclaimed DJ Black Coffee.

One of the designer’s pieces is being exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York until the end of January.

“I [literally] asked the exhibitors why they picked me out of thousands of knitwear designers around the world and they said it was because my style is bold, distinctive and has a unique appeal,” Ngxokolo said.

The exhibition, titled Is Fashion Modern? showcases 101 of the past century’s most influential clothing items from around the world.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, popular band Dream Team do Passinho have released their Oi Sumido music video which they shot wearing Maxhosa by Laduma.

“What I always try to express is that, while we [Maxhosa by Laduma] represent just 1% of a billion Africans, we are bold enough to represent Africa very well internationally, so when we receive such a great response it’s not only exciting but helps us in achieving our goal of being a leading lifestyle fashion brand,” Ngxokolo said.

Ngxokolo has also received solid support from Africa with Nigerian/ Ghanaian musician Mr Eazi and South African duo Mafikizolo having recently shot music videos wearing the brand.

While reaching the heights has always been his aim, the designer takes none of the opportunities for granted.

“It’s both a surprise and motivation each time because it always takes me back to when I still lived in KwaDwesi and dreamt about building a globally appealing brand.

“Looking around and seeing that not only have I already achieved that but also finding myself working with people that I used to watch on TV, is still unbelievable,” he said.

Ngxokolo believes hard work is his secret to having made such an impact on the world of design within a space of just five years.

“When you work hard, you attract luck and, of course, luck does not mean you have any kind of superpower but it is a matter of being on time and attracting a lot of positive things.”

After spending a great part of 2017 collaborating with the likes of Nivea, Sanlam, Standard Bank and more, the designer revealed his plans for the year included collaborations with an ice cream company and a big-name African DJ.

His goals for the coming year also include establishing a factory and opening stores in Sandton, Port Elizabeth and East London.

“I believe I will forever be on the way to the dream; while I’ve grown tremendously as a fashion designer, I also know that I’ve only achieved 2% of what I aim to achieve,” he said.

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