Gratitude is a very important gesture amongst the Xhosa, we believe no one is rest assured what Ingomso limphathele ntoni (what one's future path could turn out to be). With that said, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to each and every person that has been supportive of MaXhosa by Laduma this year, with your purchases, shares, likes, presence at shows and exhibitions as well as various endorsements that has managed to take the brand to the next level.
2014 has been both a wonderful journey for MaXhosa, it is difficult to sum everything up in one post cause a lot has happened. My most fulfilling moment this year comes from being able to show and collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg for the 1st time, themed 'Buyel'mbo' which included a women's range, and it being endowed with a standing ovation. A few weeks after that overwhelming moment, I had the opportunity to be invited to speak in Amsterdam, at the What Design Can Do Conference. This quickly became a self-fulfilling moment, as one of the speakers that spoke at the conference was none other than the legendary Sir Paul Smith, who I watched enthusiastically as he spoke about his career. This was the day before I was meant to deliver my talk. Another point to note is that I had decided to head to the conference with my sister, Tina Ngxokolo. We managed to bring about 50 pieces over and out of which we sold 45 during the conference, as it was that powerful.
A few months after, I got invited to showcase the collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, which won me the Premium Emerging Designer Award for my menswear range. I also was granted the opportunity to exhibit MaXhosa at the Premium exhibition in Berlin and Munich. While staying in Cape Town I had a chance to encounter fine gentlemen from Oslo, Norway: T-Michael and Alexander Helle who founded Norwegian Rain and the co-founder of Oslo Trend, Mikkel Aakervik. These gentleman loved MaXhosa on seeing it for the first time, and deciding to fuse some of the pieces in a shoot they did in Cape Town. Our relationship didn't end there, as I had the privilege of visiting them twice in Oslo. We did a pop-up shop at Norwegian Rain store during my visits there, where I also exhibited and spoke about my work at the Oslo Trend Fashion Week and Norwegian Fashion Institute Wool Conference.
On coming back home, I worked on many collaborations which greatly created associations with many designers and I had the opportunity to bring these design friends down with me, to my hometown, as they became part of my second annual MaXhosa exhibition, entitled, Buyel’embo. Andle Dyalvane, Unathi Makhanda, Tina Ngxokolo, Siyabonga Ngwekazi, Vukile Batyi, Mlondolozi Hempe, Asanda Sizani, Trevor Stuurman and Ntsika Tyatya all formed part of this exhibition which attracted a number Port Elizabeth fashion enthusiasts invest in MaXhosa pieces.
This post comes off the heels of being honoured the 2014 Emerging Designer of the year at the Afria Fashion International Awards after I showed an edit collection titled 'Camagu' at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa on November 1st. My chest filling with gratitude as I write this from London. I am aware of the immense opportunities and challenges that lie before me. I am sincerely grateful for all who have assisted in making this year worthwhile for me as a designer, by inspiring me to achieve great things and yearn for more.
This is therefore my Thank You, to all of you that made sure that MaXhosa survives through to 2015…special thanks to Ravi Naidoo, Hanneli Rupert, Tammy Tinker and the Nelson Mandela University Art and Design Incubator for patronising me as a designer.
I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!!!