Textile designer Sindiso Khumalo’s bright and bold prints and simple monochrome patterns piqued CH’s interest some time ago, and in 2015 we met the South African designer at Design Indaba and later got a tour of her London studio. Now, the designer has entered a new market: children’s clothing. Unsurprisingly, Khumalo’s playful designs work perfectly for kids and the patterns look just as good when coordinated or mixed up.
The idea of doing a kids’ collection came, perhaps inevitably, to Khumalo when she became a mother herself. “Two years ago my son was born and with him came this huge whirlwind of ideas,” she tells CH. “I wanted to do so much to make a shift in the baby industry. I think if we can make children ethical consumers, then we can really bring the message across for future generations.” Two-thirds of Khumalo’s new kidswear line is made using organic cotton, and the remainder using “beautiful, handwoven fabric from Burkina Faso,” Khumalo says. “It’s all cotton, and all breathable and the prints are very durable. I’m a mom, and approached the functionality of this collection like a mom. So I want to be able to throw the garments in the wash at a 30-degree cycle and have no drama. It’s all about gorgeous bold prints that won’t fade away.”
Referring to it as “another homecoming collection,” Khumalo, who grew up in South Africa, tells us the pajamas in the kids’ range were inspired by the beadwork seen at local markets in Durban, while the main collection looked to the local dress of Zulu men. “It’s all been abstracted hugely, but home is always a reference for me,” she says. The collection is made entirely in Burkina Faso and South Africa. And, while some of the prints are the same as those used for Khumalo’s main womens’ line, the new collection also provided an opportunity for the designer to experiment a little bit more than usual. “You can always have more fun with kids,” she says. “More color, more print clashes, also playing a lot with scale. So I’m having such a fun time, being more daring with each design. It’s a very playful process.”
Images courtesy of Sindiso Khumalo