Laduma Ngxokolo on his Xhosa fashion line

Laduma Ngxokolo incorporates traditional Xhosa beadwork designs into his range of wool and mohair garments for men.

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Laduma Ngxokolo’s Amakrwala range of knitwear weaves Xhosa traditions and beadwork patterns into the attire.

The South African textile and knitwear designer tells of the beginning of his design career. He started by redesigning the clothing traditionally worn by Xhosa men upon initiation. His garments were made with Xhosa beadwork and culture in mind, while also using locally produced materials such as wool and mohair.

In my childhood we always had a very traditional upbringing. My mother used to read me Xhosa anthropological books as bedtime stories, and it’s something that I’ve grown up with, that I’m still growing into, and I want to embrace it every way I can, says Ngxokolo.

Ngxokolo prioritises the use of colour in his designs, as this is an important part of Xhosa visual culture. He also utilises local materials with longevity so that the garments can be preserved for future generations.