Swedish retail brand H&M has announced its first African collaboration with South African designer Palesa Mokubung.
Mokubung's 'Mantsho' will be available in all South African stores from 15 August 2019.
The vibrant fabrics, bold and edgy designs as well as accessories will also be introduced to selected flagship stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, Chile and Israel.
Azania spoke to Mokubung and H&M's press and communications manager Amelia-May Woudstra about the news.
Mokubung says she is overwhelmed by the opportunity.
They gave me a call and said that I was on a shortlist of designers that they were considering collaborating with. I think after they came to the studio and met me, they just knew.— Palesa Mokubung, Designer - Mantsho
I have been preparing for this moment all my life. I have been in the industry for 15 years. I was open to the collaboration and doing business of this magnitude. I am at a point where I understand what I have to offer.— Palesa Mokubung, Designer - Mantsho
Woudstra says the collaboration was a commitment they made following last year's controversy around a racist image of a young black boy wearing a hoodie that read ‘Coolest monkey in the jungle.’
It was one of the commitments we made after the incident. We wanted to be committed and see it through. Discussions started from June to July on how we were going to put this into action.— Amelia-May Woudstra, H&M - Press and communications manager
It is all about inclusivity and diversity. Her distinctly African designs, brand ethos and aesthetics are very much in line with H&M's inclusivity, diversity and sustainability ideals.— Amelia-May Woudstra, H&M - Press and communications manager
Click on the link below to hear the full interview....