The label’s creative director, Palesa Mokubung, is from South Africa.
No high street brand does designer collaborations quite like H&M. In the past, the Swedish brand has produced collections with Stella McCartney, Versace and Balmain, but no African designers have featured – until now.
The brand’s latest collab is with South African label Mantsho. Here’s everything you need to know about Mantsho, as it’s definitely not the last you’ll be hearing…
Palesa Mokubung launched Mantsho in 2004. The name means ‘black is beautiful’ in Sesotho, one of South Africa’s 11 official languages. Her studio is based in Johannesburg, and her designs are an eclectic mix of traditional African patterns and modern, edgy cuts.
Mokubung’s style is extravagant yet refined – think floor-length gowns in bright colours and lots of geometric patterns – and the Mantsho woman is someone who can pull off such strong and voluminous outfits.
On her website, Mokubung describes how you can immediately tell a Mantsho design by its “confident and effortless silhouette, structure and quirkiness”. Over the last 15 years Mantsho has made a name for itself in South Africa, and now the whole world is about to take notice as Mokubung joins fashion greats like Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander Wang in collaborating with H&M.
Mokubung has described the collection she’s created for H&M as her “love letter to Africa”. She’s picked out some of her best pieces from her last three collections, spanning floaty dresses, brightly patterned sarongs and geometric accessories.
These are the kind of clothes you want to wear in the sun, with joyous colours and patterns, loose fits and enough coverage to make you feel comfortable. As with her main collections, Mokubung has played around with silhouettes – think asymmetric hemlines, bell sleeves and structured shoulders.
Pernilla Wohlfahrt, H&M’s assortment manager for collaborations and special collections, says: “Palesa’s creativity with colour, print and silhouettes is inspiring as she celebrates the female form through her designs which complement the female shape in a flattering and playful way.”
Prices for dresses are between £49.99 and £79.99, a top is around £24.99 and trousers £49.99. The collection is available instore and online now.
Collaborating with an African designer has been a long time coming for H&M, and people are glad it’s finally happened.
And everyone seems to love the collection already.