Self-confessed ‘textile nerd’, Sindiso Khumalo focuses on contemporary textiles that are sustainable, that she creates by drawing on her Zulu and Ndebele roots and that are influenced by the Bauhaus Movement and the Memphis Movement. Although, she started out as a student of architecture at the University of Cape Town and worked with architect David Adjaye in London, she later studied Masters in Design for Textile Futures at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design graduating with distinction. In 2012, soon after being chosen as a finalist for the Elle Magazine Rising Star Competition, a platform for new talents in the world of fashion, she launched her eponymous brand. In February 2013, Aretha dress, which is one of Khumalo’s creations, was nominated for the “Most Beautiful Object in South Africa” at Design Indaba in Cape Town.
Born in Botswana and raised in Durban, Khumalo sees fashion as a means to bring about an economic change in Africa.
“I believe fashion can become an empowering agent by creating a positive economic activities in otherwise marginalized parts of the world.”
Shunting to and fro between London and South Africa, she works with several NGOs in South Africa to develop sustainable textiles. As part of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, wherein artisans from developing countries develop fashion products for top fashion designers, she has showcased her Spring/Summer 2016 collection at Biffi Boutiques in Milan for Vogue’s Fashion Night Out during the Milano Fashion Week. Strong and complex graphic prints make for her signature style.
Her work found an eager audience in the “Africa is Now” exhibition at Design Indaba Expo 2014, at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington and the Royal Festival Hall in London. Her label has also been featured in Vogue, The Financial Times and Elle.
Recently, she has launched her own line of kids wear. Unsurprisingly, her bright and bold prints suit kids perfectly and look good when they are mixed up or coordinated with each other. Talking about her decision to cater to children’s clothing, she says,
“Two years ago my son was born and with him came this huge whirlwind of ideas. I wanted to do so much to make a shift in the baby industry. I think if we can make children ethical consumers, then we can really bring the message across for future generations.”
Two-thirds of Khumalo’s new kids wear collections are made of organic cotton and the rest with hand-woven fabric from Burkina Faso.
Love Sindiso Khumalo work? Purchase now on: www.sindisokhumalo.com
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