Port Elizabeth is known as both the friendly city and the windy city, but to me it is home. I grew up in a PE township called New Brighton, where I was surrounded by many Xhosa people. I left Port Elizabeth at a young age to start my new life with my parents in Cape Town. Despite leaving at the age of 8, every memory and experience plays in my mind vividly when I reminisce on my childhood, growing up with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and VERY present neighbours.
I had the pleasure of meeting Laduma Ngxokolo a few years ago through a mutual friend, and we quickly realised that we come from the same place. Our families know each other, we have mutual friends and we both understand what it is to be from PE, things which made our friendship very organic.
I first worked with him in 2012 when he only had a menswear range, and asked to shoot one of his garments for a two-week style diary I had done with Glamour Magazine. He has had so much growth as an artist and designer in these past two years, that when he showed me a preview of his female range, I was far from surprised. His collection is breathtaking. It is the kind that you ponder on, and wonder how someone has the ability to remain so authentic in an industry that can sometimes be so trend-driven.
His authentically South African collection consists of skirts, cardigans, dresses, crew necks, and baseball jackets in traditional Xhosa designs and colours. His medium for his artwork is pure mohair and merino wool.
The Creative & MaXhosa collaboration is a team effort. Thank you to Ignatius Mokone for shooting the behind the scenes images, Mpumelelo Macu for trusting my ideas and bringing them to life, Sibabalwe Mona, my very own fixer, for doing my make-up, Ezra Mokgope for assisting us in almost everything and, most importantly, Laduma Ngxokolo for his collection.
Photographer : Mpumelelo Macu