If stylish sportswear and geometric patterns are your thing, look no further than South African label MaXhosa, which mixes up velvet on knitted pieces, and showcases the ability for a luxury house to mash up streetwear and leisurewear with hoodies and velvet sweatpants alongside women's ponchos and trousers. Using patterns with 3D formatting and op art techniques, MaXhosa embraces digital craft as the future of fashion.
MaXhosa's newest collection taps into the original roots of the luxury brand and reimagines all of its classic patterns over the last decade. It's modern, elegant and ancient. The name of the collection, Zilimela, stems from Isilimela, the signifier of a new season, which various African cultures see as the time to plant new seeds in the ground. Isilimela is also a constellation of stars that proclaim that a spiritual awakening is at hand.
The Johannesburg-based brand was founded in 2012 by textile designer Laduma Ngxokolo, whose work showcases the beauty, culture, language and aspiration of the Xhosa people, one of South Africa's most dominant ethnic groups. He aimed to develop a premium knitwear range that celebrates traditional Xhosa beadwork aesthetics and symbolism, using South African mohair and wool. Ngxokolo is an agent of change, shifting and evolving with fast-fashion's changing times, in which he tries to meld traditional culture with the future. The brand also has a home décor line featuring rugs and cushions.
British Vogue recently featured MaXhosa in its story on "Seven African Fashion Brands to Know and Wear", curated by London-based boutique Koibird in collaboration with Lagos Fashion Week. As befits such acclaim, MaXhosa is a brand that celebrities have gravitated towards; regular clients including standout singer Alicia Keys and her husband, producer Swizz Beatz, along with superstar icon Beyoncé and retired US basketball star Dwyane Wade. Redefining African design and its place on the global fashion map, MaXhosa is one to watch.