As you know I cover the work of designers around the world, but truthfully none give me as much joy as that of African designers and we all know the breadth of talent there. One brand that has had me in a chokehold since the day I stumbled upon it is South African eponymous label Wanda Lephoto.
I had the pleasure of meeting Wanda in Paris last June during fashion week and stumbled upon his work at a BK Circus showroom. Ever since then, I’ve been mesmerised by his brain child for a number of reasons. Firstly the brand has a captivating boldness that comes through in its tailoring and colour palate, opting for vibrancy by using less common colours and patterns in menswear.
Another strength of the brand is its story telling ability, whether it’s political commentary as seen in the SS22 ‘Home Affairs’ collection, or it’s perpetual themes of identity and new forms of representation. Lephoto personifies what I’ve always believed about African brands, which is that they are united in speaking and translating their truth to the world around them regardless of how it is received, as opposed to allowing their world around them to inform or dilute their truth. Designs this good can only be made by someone who is resolute in who they are and what they stand for and as a result Lephoto is not to be played with.
In my opinion the brand is a giant of African fashion and really puts a frenetic energy back into the world of tailoring and the possibilities surrounding it. Given that I’ve quietly admired the brand for so long, it’s about time I take a Lephoto!