South African brand MaXhosa presented its Spring/Summer 2020 collection at New York Fashion Week Thursday evening as a part of Made in Africa 2020’s runway presentation. At Pier59 Studios in Chelsea, the brand, which is headed by South African designer Laduma Ngxokolo, brought out over 100 influencers, designers, editors, and other fashion fans from around the world. The collection, aptly named ”We Are Kings And Queens”, featured the brand’s signature colorful geometric prints and woven separates, as well as new styles like silk printed men’s dress shirts and scarves.
During the show, there were many iconic moments that reflected the beauty of South African culture. Before the models appeared, the screen at the top of the runway displayed video clips of a children’s choir singing South Africa’s national anthem on an open field wearing traditional fashions from Ngxokolo’s Xhosa heritage. As the short film continued, former South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, and other notable South African freedom fighters appeared on screen as a symbol of the nation’s triumphant spirit, something that Ngxokolo often acknowledges in his work.
When the models finally came out, the entire runway lit up with hues of red, blue, and orange and prints that were inspired by traditional Xhosa wear. In addition to premiering remixed versions of MaXhosa’s traditional short sleeve knit tops, the brand showcased knitted bralettes with MaXhosa’s logo on it, netted tops, double-breasted men’s blazers and matching pants, and off the shoulder wool gowns with pleated skirt designs. The star-studded selection of models, including Miss South Africa 2019 Zozibini Tunzi and Rapper/Producer Young Paris, walked down the runway to a melody of songs by Burna Boy, Jidenna, and Mr. Eazi.
Audience members, many of whom were dressed in MaXhosa scarves and sweaters, were treated to a lively show that celebrated not only South African culture but the spirit of Pan-Africanism worldwide. Popular South African designer David Tlale and actress Lynn Whitfield, were among the notable people there to support the brand, that since 2011, has strived to support the promotion of African heritage and communities through design.
View runway images from MaXhosa's Spring/Summer 2020 New York Fashion Week show below and shop select styles from MaXhosa online now at The Folklore.
Photography by Reze Bonna