LONDON — Sindiso Khumalo, the Cape Town-based sustainable textile designer, is set to bring her punchy colors and retro designs to high streets worldwide through a collaboration with & Other Stories, WWD has learned.
The limited-edition collection of dresses, swimwear and accessories has been made from materials including organic cotton, recycled cotton and linen. It will launch in April in selected & Other Stories stores, and online.
The prints, as always, are based on Khumalo’s hand-painted watercolors and collages, and inspired by the designer’s South African heritage. The sun-drenched images for the campaign have also been shot in South Africa.
Khumalo said the starting point for the collection “was the materials themselves, and ensuring they were sourced in a more sustainable way.”
She added that her “hopes and wishes are to shine a light on African design, and the magical nature of our enigmatic continent. Another goal is to communicate to the customer the importance of the materials when building your wardrobe, showing that clothing made from materials sourced in a more sustainable way can be bold and playful. We want to open up a sustainability conversation with more people.”
Karolina Ekman, Co-Lab manager, & Other Stories, said the retail brand has “so much love” for Khumalo’s “evocative designs and storytelling about Africa. But we also admire the brand’s focus on sustainability and dedication to social equality and female empowerment.”
Khumalo studied architecture at the University of Cape Town before moving to London where she worked with David Adjaye. She later went on to study for a master’s in Design for Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins.
She founded her eponymous label in 2015, and regularly draws inspiration from her Zulu and Ndebele heritage, and her original home of Kwazulu Natal.
“Clothing can be a form of medicine. It can evoke emotions and make you feel strong, alive and empowered. That’s what I want to bring to my designs, making women feel empowered, exceptional and unique. I love the idea of clothing embodying an element of good fortune when you buy them — be it in the print or the color,” she has said.
In 2020, Khumalo was among the eight finalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Designers. In that pandemic year, LVMH temporarily transformed the prize into a solidarity fund for the emerging brands in its orbit. Instead of vying for a main prize of 300,000 euros, the eight finalists each received 40,000 euros.
Later that year Khumalo scooped the Green Carpet Fashion Awards’ title of best independent designer.
Khumalo has spoken on sustainability in fashion at the United Nations and the European Development Forum.
She has also presented her designs at Milan Fashion Week and exhibited at places such as The Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Zeitz Mocaa Museum in Cape Town.
With ateliers in Paris, Stockholm and Los Angeles, & Other Stories is a division of H&M Group. It has 70 physical stores in 24 markets including Europe, the U.S., the Middle East and Asia and offers online stores in 33 markets.