Traditional elements interpreted in a modern wayAs part of the collaboration, & Other Stories and Sindiso Khumalo designed a sustainable collection characterized by bright colors and print diversity, expressing the brand's cultural roots and South African heritage." My hopes and aspirations for this co-lab with & Other Stories are to illuminate African design and the magical nature of our enigmatic continent.
Another goal is to educate consumers on the importance of materials in their wardrobes and to show that clothes made from more sustainable materials can be bold and playful. Together we want to talk to more people about sustainability," Sindiso Khumalo says of the collaboration. For the mutual collection, typical local symbols are in use such as the protea, an indigenous plant in South Africa, or the Nguni cattle, which are found among the Nguni people of southern Africa. The pepper red color comes from the traditional Zulu Nkehli that adorns a Zulu bride on her wedding day. This cowrie shell, which can be seen in the print and the accessories, represents wealth, prosperity, and good fortune in both African and Afro-Caribbean cultures.
Functionality + Sustainability = LongevityThe silhouettes of the collaboration's styles are also based on socio-social and historical sources of inspiration, showing for instance vintage portraits of women from Africa and the African diaspora in the 1800s., as the creator reveals. "The starting point for the co-lab collection was to work with materials that were sourced more sustainably,” Khumalo stresses. The goal above all: creating durable garments.
As well under that aspect the function of the fabric, of the overall garment is crucial - just as important as the aesthetics of the silhouette, the prints, and the colors. Khumalo continues, "A garment must be adaptable, breathable, and comfortable to be long-lasting."
The eponymous Cape Town-based Sindiso Khumalo started her namesake label to create modern, sustainable clothing inspired by her Zulu and Ndebele heritage. Winner of 2020's GCFA 'Independent Designer' award and one of the latest to join NET-A-PORTER's Vanguard initiative for emerging talent, she works closely with small African factories that produce the hand-woven textiles for each collection - the eco-friendly fabrics include organic cotton, linen, and hemp.
& Other Stories operates a separate retail chain. The brand focus is on unusual design details. Clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry, and cosmetics are offered.