The Weekend Breakfast team has spent the past week trying to get hold of talented 27-year-old South African South African knitwear designer, Laduma Ngxokolo who has recently been awarded the prestigiousVogue Italia "Scouting for Africa" Prize.
Ngxokolo has won the award among 10 talented semi-finalists who made the list from Ghana, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.
He receives the award while he is on a bit of a break from designing while he pursues a Masters degree at Central Saint Martins in the United Kingdom.
The talented young designer first came into the limelight in 2011 when he launched his label "MaXhosa by Laduma" in Cape Town; his designs are an intricate interpretation of Xhosa beadwork motifs and patterns.
His modern and culturally relevant creations are taking Xhosa aesthetics to the world!
Speaking to Italian Vogue Ngxokolo explained that his inspiration comes from South African legends including Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko.
All my icons are South African: Credo Mutwa, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko. The patterns and motifs of MaXhosa by Laduma are specifically inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork. After the Zulus, the Xhosa are the biggest cultural group in South Africa, and my brand interprets traditional Xhosa aesthetics in a modern context to capture the future African spirit.— Fashion Designer, Laduma Ngxokolo to Vogue Italia
Azania and Africa finally managed to get hold of Ngxokolo and spoke to him on the Weekend Breakfast:
To be associated with Vogue Italia is a brilliant association, and the value that I want to get out of that is to be able to experience working amongst the fashion industry experts and be able to learn about high end quality …— Fashion Designer, Laduma Ngxokolo
Ngxokolo will be showcasing his designs at the international showcase of Palazzo Marando in Milan, Italy later this year and at Africa International Fashion Week in Lagos, Nigeria in December 2015.
Ngxokolo may be far from home right now but his influence and ambition has not been forgotten back at home in South Africa.
One caller who called into Weekend Breakfast after his interview to congratulate the him on his achievement and to share that the school that she lectures at uses "MaXhosa by Laduma" to teach students about creating uniquely South African designs.
Listen to Laduma Ngxokolo's conversation with Azania and Africa on Weekend Breakfast here:
Profile pic courtesy of xhosaculture.co.za
This article first appeared on 702 : SA designer shines on a global stage : Vogue Italia