Screenshot 2014 12 07 20.20.20

Laduma Ngxokolo's Move to London

15 December 2014

Screenshot 2014 12 07 20.20.20

NT: First of all happy birthday my brother and congratulation on reaching a three year milestone of building MaXhosa by Laduma. Congratulations as well for deciding to commence your study journey at Central Saint Martins and grabbing the opportunity to grow your brand from London. Lets take it from here.......

NT: You where offered a scholarship by the University of Arts London in partnership with WeTransfer to study masters in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, why did you decide to take the offer, considering that you are on the rising scale of your career in South Africa.  

LN: Firstly, I've always had a desire to study at a main stream education institution. Knowledge is power, I couldn't insist on grabbing the opportunity, Central Saint Martins has produced a lot of edgy fashion designers such as Alexandra McQueen, John Galliano, Stella McCartney to name a few. Clearly there must be something about the structure of the institution    

Secondly, London is a one of the best cities in the world for emerging fashion designers to grow their brand, I felt that it was the right time for me to make the move and continue expanding my brand in London and other territories that are convenient to reach from London.  

Lastly, I wanted to develop and challenge myself as a designer, although I am overwhelmed by some of the opportunities that I have come across,  I am more thrilled about the future than I am about the present. My ultimate goal after my studies is to be able to communicate my ideas boldly and become a forward thinking designer.  

NT: Why Material Futures instead of an MA in Knitwear Design instead? 

LN: I felt that industry, I can only learn so much. The point is to trigger knitwear design by another force, as I am not a conservative, as I am not aiming to do what other knitwear designers have done. I want interpret what is happening in the knitwear industry in my own way, as I want to focus on what is coming in the future, offering solutions for the future.
Personally I am curious, as Laduma, I believe I can do way more than what I am doing now. I like doing things that challenge me and are intriguing, and I love science a lot and the course does have a science element. Technology as well as a huge part of what I love and is a part of this course, I am interrogating what changes in science and technology will impact the knitwear industry. The future of clothing has not been tapped, in many years to come perhaps we will be wearing different textiles than what we are wearing today. 

NT: London is one of the most expensive cities to live in, how have you adapted to the change of living in Cape Town to living in London, and how will you handle your business while studying? 

LN: This journey is indeed an expensive move, fortunately I am getting assistance from the Design Indaba Foundation and Reinet Foundation to cover some of my personal expensive while studying. I have been working with my sister Tina Ngxokolo since May this year, she is taking care of the business with me at the moment.

NT: How long is the course and are you planning to come back to South Africa?  

LN: The course is two year long, I am definitely planning to journey back home after I have achieved all the goals that I have set for London. It will be a challenging and happy journey, I am looking forward to learn from it.  

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