Laduma Ngxokolo’s Flair For Knitwear Design

The South African textiles designer is becoming a big name in knitwear design internationally. Taking his inspiration from traditional Xhosa bead work, Ngxokolo makes sure that his design work is interwoven with his South African heritage. Born in Port Elizabeth in 1986, Ngxokolo began textile designing in 2003 at Lawson Brown High School where he began to notice he had a natural flair for knitting.

In 2010 won the South African Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) competition and consequently, his success brought him to London where he won the first prize for his piece entitled “The Colourful World of the Xhosa Culture” on behalf of the international entries.

By 2014, London was enraptured by his talent, offering him the WeTransfer Scholarship to study his masters in Material Futures at the Central St Martins, London, which he completed this year. He chose to focus his studies on the future of design in general rather than hone his knitting style: “I am interrogating what changes in science and technology will impact the knitwear industry. The future of clothing has not been tapped, in many years to come perhaps we will be wearing different textiles than what we are wearing today.”

When asked why London? He replied: “London is a one of the best cities in the world for emerging fashion designers to grow their brand, I felt that it was the right time for me to make the move and continue expanding my brand in London and other territories that are convenient to reach from London.” He has since launched his fashion label MaXhosa inspired by Xhosa bead work, hence the name.