Designer and 2020 LVMH Prize finalist Sindiso Khumalo launched her eponymous South African brand in 2014. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, she worked for British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye in London before moving back to her home country, where she settled in Cape Town. Characterized by intricate handwoven textiles, Khumalo’s designs are printed with the brand’s distinctive watercolor paintings and illustrations, her collections crafted using sustainable materials such as hemp, linen and African cotton.
At the heart of the designer’s burgeoning brand lies a sense of community; she employs a group of artisans in Burkina Faso, and a few small rural communities in South Africa, and she works with the United Nations Ethical Fashion Initiative to connect with various African woman artisans who practice a range of traditional techniques. She also established a partnership with Cape Town-based NGO Embrace Dignity, which encourages women to learn new skills such as hand-embroidery and crochet, and guides them to long-term, financially stable careers. Speaking to Vogue in 2020, the designer shared that her community based approach “is about creating a space for women to gather, make, and heal.”
Since the brand’s inception, the designer has showcased at Milan Fashion Week, and exhibited at London’s Royal Albert Hall and The Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. Her work has been published in Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire, and she’s had multiple successful collaborations, including one with Swedish furniture giant IKEA in 2018. In 2020, Khumalo took home Milan Fashion Week’s coveted Green Carpet Fashion Award for Best Independent Designer.
Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Independent Designer of the Year, 2020
LVMH Prize, Finalist, 2020
Vogue Italia’s ‘Who is on Next?’, Winner, 2015