H&M Unveils First African Collaboration

J. Countess

Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter gave Johannesburg-based fashion designer Palesa Mokubung her stamp of approval last year; the collab collection will drop on Aug. 15.

Just days before her 38th birthday, South African designer Palesa Mokubung was confirmed as the first African designer to collaborate with Swedish fashion giant H&M. Mokubung will make history this August when her collection hits the shelves of over 60 stores worldwide, joining the list of high-profile fashion designers including Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang, Moschino and soccer legend David Beckham, who have collaborated with the retailer.

The Johannesburg-based designer, who started her label Mantsho in 2004, is a firm favorite among local stars, including actress Terry Pheto (who starred in the Oscar-winning best foreign language film, Tsotsi) and Mokubung also counts this year’s costume design Oscar winner Ruth E. Carter among one of her biggest fans.

“She’s my sister on the other side of the world,” Mokubung told THR in reference to Carter, who discovered Mantsho when she walked into its Melville store in early 2018. “She just walked in, one day before Black Panther was released, and liked my collection at the time, which was a range of mud-cloth dresses. And she bought one dress and a signature accessory and said she would wear it at the Black Panther premiere. She got so much praise that, soon after that, she said, ‘Please can you make me another dress?’ And I did. It’s been ongoing since.” Continue reading…

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