- Sindiso Khumalo has been announced as the Best Independent Designer at the 2020 Green Carpet Fashion Awards.
- The designer dedicated the award to the artisans she works with in Burkina Faso, Barrydale, KwaZulu-Natal, and Cape Town.
- It has been a great year for Sindiso Khumalo as she was named as a finalist for the 2020 LVMH Prize, subsequently taking home this year's Covid-considerate split victory for all finalists.
South African sustainable fashion and textile designer, Sindiso Khumalo, has been honoured with the Best Independent Designer Award for her "outstanding contribution to the fashion industry" at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards.
The award - which was presented by actress Maisie Williams - recognises designers who represent Eco-Age's principles of sustainable excellence. The Sindiso Khumalo brand was nominated alongside 16 other independent fashion designers.
In her acceptance speech, Sindiso dedicated the award to "the amazing artisans [she] works with in Burkina Faso, Barrydale, KwaZulu-Natal, and Cape Town," adding that she "started [her] brand with the premise of being a modern-day Robin Hood, to make luxury clothing that will eventually help the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, to create a change for our continent and to create a new future for our youth."
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Thank you @ecoage and @cameramoda for awarding me with the Best Independent Designer Award at this year's @greencarpetfashionawards. I am still processing this and feel so humbled by it all. ????This means the world! Thank you for believing in us and the work we do. Thank you to everyone who has supported us through this amazing journey of building our brand, so so very grateful. Dedicating this one to my babies and the amazing artisans we work with. Here's to building a bright new future for our beloved continent. Siyabonga. ????
This is another example of how we've never been short of talent, but perhaps we just needed to avert our gaze ever so slightly. And the wider the gaze, the more international accolades we see earned by local designers and innovators.
Sharing the news of her LVMH Prize nomination on her Instagram account earlier this year, the Central St Martins graduate (yes, Richard Quinn also studied there) wrote: "For our brand it is about breaking down the patriarchal institutions that still exist within our African context, pushing through the message of female empowerment and bringing in sustainable practices into our work. We don’t always have everything figured out and we don’t always get it right, but we try... daily.
"Making in Africa also has its own challenges - daily powercuts, petty theft, lack of fabric, tricky postal systems and many daily operational challenges. But with each challenge brings its own opportunity: to push our continent’s cultural heritage forward and to address issues of poverty and social inequality. And to share with the world, the magic that is our African continent. We live in the land of magic and dreams. This one is for the dreamers. This one is for Africa. This one is for my babies. Ngiyabonga."
After winning the Vogue Italia 'Who's On Next Dubai' competition in 2015 (pictured below) where Laduma Ngxokolo of Maxhosa was also a competitor, Sindiso has since become the only African designer shortlisted this year for another prestigious fashion prize.
On the LVMH Prize shortlist, she was joined by fellow design prodigies from across the globe, including Peter Do, Piotrek Panszczyk & Beckett Fogg of AREA, and Priya Ahluwalia of AHLUWALIA.
In addition this, the website of her self-titled label details how the designer has been "published in Vogue Italia, Vogue UK, Elle Magazine and Marie Claire Magazine and "Africa: Architecture, Culture and Identity. She has collaborated with IKEA, Woolworths South Africa, Vodacom, The Sanlam Handmade Fair on bespoke designs."
According to Vogue, the selected semifinalists "[don't just] make beautiful clothes; they’re tackling fashion’s carbon footprint, designing for their communities, and celebrating their diverse cultures."
The LVMH Prize founder Delphine Arnault had also told Vogue that this year's lists "stands out in terms of parity, with 14 women and 14 men, each illustrating in their own way the ongoing conversation between the male and female wardrobes, the breaking down of gender barriers, and the emergence of a more inclusive mode of dressing."
And that would be a perfect note on which to take a look at some of Sindiso Khumalo's past outstanding creations:
Images from Sindiso Khumalo's Collection 7: