According to business consultants, Bain & Company, the global luxury goods industry is worth more than $1.48 Trillion (£1.07 Trillion / €1.2 Trillion). The market for personal luxury goods — the “core of the core” — reached a record high of $323M (£233M / €262M) in 2017, and the market is expected to grow by up to 5% annually over the next three years. European top-luxury brands still dominate the industry with perhaps Coach and Michael Kors from the USA mopping up the remaining mass market.
This report continues a mini-series about African Luxury Brands on AlphaLuxe.
MaXhosa by Laduma
MAXHOSA BY LADUMA knitwear was founded in 2010, driven by Laduma Ngxokolo’s desire to experiment with knitwear designs that would be suitable for “amakrwala” (Xhosa initiates). He envisioned a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection for amakrwala, who by tradition, must dress up in new dignified formal clothing for six months after their manhood initiation. Having undergone that process, Laduma was inspired to develop premium knitwear that celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics. During his explorations into traditional Xhosa beadwork patterns, symbolism and colours, he found a source of inspiration for the knitwear using South African mohair and wool, which was reinterpreted into modern knitwear.
Laduma Ngxokolo is one of Africa’s finest knitwear designer and innovator of the Xhosa (South African ethnic group) inspired knitwear brand MAXHOSA BY LADUMA. Laduma has received numerous awards and has fans amongst fashionistas and media-dogs from South Africa, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Oslo, Berlin and New York.
Recently, he won the 2015 Vogue Italia ‘Scouting for Africa’ prize to showcase his collections at the Palazzo Morando Show in Milan, Italy. In 2014, he was awarded the ‘WeTransfer Scholarship’ to study ‘Material Futures’ at the Central St. Martins school and graduated with a Masters degree in 2016.
Laduma has been described as “an agent of change, shifting and evolving with the changing times and further engaging in dialogue that pushes Xhosa culture to the future.”
A celebration of dark skin tones contrasted with bright hues to elevate the appreciation of colour diversity.
“Buyele’mbo” is a Xhosa phrase often uttered by Xhosa elders when they reminisce about the nostalgic rural lifestyle in the old Xhosa homelands.
“My Heritage, My Inheritance” Collection
A special collection dedicated to Laduma’s late mother, Lindelwa Ngxokolo, who was a great patron of Xhosa heritage and who taught him how to hand-machine knit at the age of 16 years.
Inspired by a vision to create a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection that would be suitable for Xhosa initiates, who are prescribed by tradition to dress up in new dignified formal clothing for six months after initiation.
Perhaps it needed a global cultural change for African fashion to emerge out of Africa but the current wave of geopolitical debate about cultural diversity, massed immigration and the ‘Me Too’ movement have recently all converged upon the fashion world.
Vogue UK even “rolled with the trend” and appointed Edward Enninful as their new editor-in-chief, who embodies every current anti-establishment trend being an ‘Empowered’, Male, Ex-Stylist, Black, Gay, Immigrant, and “Not-a-Writer”.
The new wave of brands on safari for big spenders could mean brands from Africa will start competing with some of the best known labels in the world. To this end, MaXhosa by Laduma will be at the forefront with his unique ethnic style that crosses cultural divides.
African Luxury Brands on AlphaLuxe:
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).