Laduma Ngxokolo is one of the finest South African knitwear designers and innovatorXhosa (one of the South African dominant ethnic group) inspired knitwear. Ngxokolo established his knitwear brand, MaXhosa by Laduma in 2011 through the Design Indaba promotion platforms.
In 2010, his design work, which is a translation of South African mohair and merino wool men’s knitwear inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork, won the international Society of Dyers and Colourists Design Award in London. Studying at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University at the time, he graduated with a Cum Laude in Textile Design and Technology with an aid of a bursary from Mohair South Africa and Cape Wools South Africa in recognition of his flair for knitwear design.
Ngxokolo was handpicked to present his innovative Xhosa-inspired knitwear range at the 2011 Design Indaba Conference and voted as one of the three keynote speaker at the conference. One of his Xhosa-inspired knitwear garments was nominated amongst the 2011 Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa competition. Thereafter, three of his Xhosa-inspired knitwear pieces were exhibited by International Design trend forecaster and curator Lidewij Edelkoort at the Milan Design Week in April 2011 as part of the Talking Textiles exhibition, which showcases innovative textiles.
Ngxokolo was chosen for the Mail & Guardian 200 South Africans 2011 survey which honours 200 prominent young South Africans. His knitwear story has also been featured in various publications such as GQ SA (July/August issue), Elle Decoration SA (June issue), Elle SA (June issue), Cosmopolitan SA (June issue), House & Garden (June issue), Design Indaba (June issue), Axis (Japan June issue), Fader (United States), Wallpaper (UK) and Vogue Italia, to name a few. His success story was also shared by various trend websites and bloggers around the world. His passion for knitwear design began when he frequently assisted his mother, Lindelwa to machine-knit garments and accessories. Ngxokolo’s first hands-on experience of textile design was during his high school days at Lawson Brown High School in Port Elizabeth.
His achievements include winning the 2011 Marie Claire Prix D’Excellence De La Mode Best Emerging Designer award; Awarded Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University 2012 Alumni Rising Star Award. He also showcased his 1st knitwear collection via the Ubuntu International Project at the London Fashion Week emerging designers show in 2011; showcased his 2nd collection at the 2013 Labo Ethnik Fashion Week in Paris.
Laduma is an agent of change, shifting and evolving with the changing times and further engaging in the dialogue that keeps pushing traditional culture to the future.