10 Jul South African Designers Rich Mnisi and MaXhosa get a shout out from Vogue
- The recent viral #VOGUEChallenge showcased a lack of black faces on the cover of the fashion Bible
- Anna Wintour finally admits Vogue hasn’t done enough for black people in its 128-year existence
- Local designers Rich Mnisi and Laduma Ngxokolo of MAXHOSA Africa get acknowledged as designers to watch
- Their collections are now shoppable, thanks to the London-based boutique Koibird who curated the list of African Designers to watch.
“I want to say plainly that I know Vogue has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to black editors, writers, photographers, designers, and other creators,” admitted Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour. Between “Black Lives Matters” and the “#VOGUEChallenge”, the apparent lack of black faces and creatives was loudly mused upon enough to prompt Wintour – in the midst of a diversity scandal – to state to black employees at Vogue: “I want to start by acknowledging your feelings and expressing my empathy towards what so many of you are going through; sadness, hurt, and anger too.”
Into this space, the talent and iconic creativity of local designers Rich Mnisi and Laduma Ngxokolo from Maxhosa were recently acknowledged within an article titled “7 Inspiring African Fashion Brands To Know – And Wear – Now”, curated by London-based boutique, Koibird for British Vogue.
“His expressive designs are an amalgamation of patterns, prints and textures that explore narratives of African heritage. Popular culture, art, film and music also inform his work, all given a contemporary twist,” writes Alice Cary, digital fashion writer at British Vogue of Rich Mnisi’s creativity.
South African knitwear brand, Maxhosa, founded by Laduma Ngxokolo, whose colourful graphic pieces have been worn by Beyonce’ and Alicia Keys, is inspired by traditional Xhosa symbolism, beadwork, patterns and hues and was also featured.
African Creatives are having a wonderful moment with world attention focused on the continent, providing platforms and conversations for once-sidelined talent to showcase their locally celebrated artistry. But more importantly the notion that they are good enough if not better than their western counterparts is evident and embraced by fashionistas globally.
Koibird, a boutique and online store (who also stocks pieces by Thebe Magugu, featured by THE WIRE last year) celebrates the vibrant beauty of African culture this season. Their edit and list was released alongside a look book photographed by Ruth Ossai.