In Conversation: Tina Ngxokolo

It seems that there will be a family affair at the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg Spring/ Summer 2016. Brother and sister duo Laduma and Tina Ngxokolo will showcase their own collections at MBFWJ SS16. So will Stefania and Shana Morland. 

Just like Shana, Tina has seen firsthand what goes into creating a successful and sustainable fashion brand, by staying close to family. Now it’s Tina’s turn to take the stage, as she showcases her debut collection. 

In the midst of all the chaos and anxiety that comes with preparing for Fashion Week, The Insider catches up with Tina to find out more about this equally talented half of the Ngxokolo duo. 

Tina

What inspired you to launch a fashion line?

I have always wanted to launch my fashion line, it was just a matter of time.

When did you know you wanted to become a fashion designer?

From as young as I can remember recalling my mother teaching me at about 7 years old how to fluently pronounce ‘garment fashion designer’.

How would you describe your brand’s design aesthetic?

My design aesthetic is my own point of view of what African beauty is about.

Who is the Tina Ngxokolo woman?

A Tina Ngxokolo woman is a woman who is not afraid to express her point of view in dress.

Tina3

What’s it like working with your brother?

Motivating and educational.

What have you learnt from your brother?

Focus.

What are the similarities and differences between your brand and that of your brother’s?

The major difference is that he is a knitwear designer and I am not. The similarity would be that we are siblings of the same biological parents and our mother installed the same discipline, culture, skills and value in both of us and our siblings.

How important is your culture and background in creating your collection?

It is vital, it’s our foundation. My mission is not to run away from it but to celebrate it in my own way through design.

Tina4

What is the inspiration behind the collection you will show at MBFWJ SS16?

Mainly my goal is to introduce myself as a designer brand and identity.  I drew inspiration from my own Xhosa culture aesthetics borrowing from the body art of African tribes, mainly the Ethiopian tribe.

What can we look forward to at MBFWJ SS16?

A celebration of African women through colour, texture, print, beadwork and a twist on some classics.

What was the hardest thing about putting this collection together?

Design is about finding the solutions. I believe you should not spread the bad news but focus on the outcome.

Where can we find your collection after Fashion Week?

Ready-to-wear pieces will be featured at the MAXHOSA store in Newtown, and by appointment for exclusive orders.

Be among the first to witness Tina’s debut collection at MBFWJ SS16, and follow her on Facebook.