Laduma Ngxokolo wearing MaXhosa.
Laduma Ngxokolo wearing MaXhosa.
Image: Supplied

We’re huge fans of any platform that fosters local talent and for that reason 100% Design South Africa is on our annual calendar. Opening next week at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, the show endeavors to push the envelope of African design, putting it under the global spotlight for all to see.

This year, Laduma Ngxokolo of culturally rooted and iconic fashion brand MaXhosa, will be taking the lead as the Featured Designer, unveiling his new rugs, cushions, throws, wallpaper, upholstery and curtains. We chatted to him about his evolution from fashion to homeware, his plans for the show and the honour of this year’s title.

Much has happened for you in the last few years. Where are you at in your journey as a South African designer right now? I do believe we’re in the midst of a new African renaissance, with so much happening globally, all eyes are now on the continent. I believe in the statement: “Africa, your time is now.” The ability for me to be able to fully control the value chain has become an empowering tool, allowing me to design and cater to the clients’ needs and causing the brand to evolve.

Mcushion scatter cushions and a throw from the new homeware range.
Mcushion scatter cushions and a throw from the new homeware range.
Image: Supplied
A showcase of MaXhosa style including one of the brand's rugs.
A showcase of MaXhosa style including one of the brand's rugs.
Image: Supplied

How have you navigated the shift from designing fashion to designing homeware? The move was natural from a design point, by remaining loyal to our aspiration of becoming a leading lifestyle brand. The move towards homeware started when we ventured into soft furnishings; the client demand for other homeware accessories and designs grew from there. 

What can visitors to your 100% Design stand expect to see that’s new? We are sharing more about the comfort people find in the home space. There’ll be new colours and patterns and a new way of imagining the African space. We, as a people, are colourful but we might expect pattern in home fabrics to be sub-premium. We intend to bring African luxury into the home.

You started with fashion, now you’ve entered the home décor sphere … what’s next? Art… in order to become a lifestyle brand, we are venturing into the art world.

Fringed cushions from the homeware range.
Fringed cushions from the homeware range.
Image: Supplied

You’ve said that your 100% Design offering will include a shift in perception, “a new way of living within our surroundings as a new generation of Africans”. Can you unpack that? The way people are living as Africans is as a result of being global nomads; they take inspiration from the world. We wanted to invert this and bring our inspiration to the world. We are rooted in culture and history, these are our strong points. Ancient crafts, such as beading, are not old fashioned when amalgamated into the latest technology. We want to combine the ancient with the modern, to showcase a space that can be modern yet rich in heritage.

What does the title of Featured Designer for this show mean to you? It means our efforts and evolution as a brand are being seen. To take part in this event fully allows us to be seen not just as a fashion brand, but a design house too.

100% Design takes place at Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, from August 7 – 11 2019.

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