Johannesburg-based Samkelo Boyde Xaba is the founder and creative director of the clothing brand BOYDE, which he launched in 2017. The multidisciplinary creative with a penchant for pared-down minimalism graduated from Tshwane University of Technology with a National Diploma and BTech/Honours degree in Fashion & Design Technology in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
We chatted with the Design Indaba Emerging Creative about how the street fashion of Joburg inspires him and what it means to be a sustainable contemporary clothing brand. Read on for a glimpse into Xaba’s creative thinking.
Entries for the 2023 edition of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives programme are now open! If you’d like to follow in Xaba’s footsteps and be part of the next generation of design superstars in South Africa, apply here.
1. Tell us a little bit more about your interest in fashion – how did it start and what led you to consider a career in the fashion industry?
Fashion is a way of expression in the form of visual art. Aesthetic forms allow me to express myself at a particular time and place in a specific context.
2.What led you to start your own clothing brand, BOYDE, and what sets the brand apart?
I was driven by passion and wanted to create something that’s sustainable, functional, versatile and durable. BOYDE is an ethical contemporary clothing brand that prioritises sustainability, longevity, durability and functionality. Our garments are environmentally friendly and produced under ethical environments and production procedures.
3.Who are your greatest influences, and why?
I am influenced by Nick Wakeman and Christophe Lemaire – their work is timeless, versatile, and functional with flawlessly modern silhouettes. They prioritise high-quality durable fabrication with classic colour palettes. But most of my inspiration comes from random stylish elders in the streets of Joburg, geometric modern industrial architecture and minimalist aesthetics.
4. What are some of your career highlights to date?
I showcased my work at AFI, showcased at SA Fashion Week for two seasons and won the Menswear scouting competition. I worked on global projects with Converse, I am a Design Indaba Emerging Creative for 2022 and was in the allFashion Sourcing Cape Town Young Designer top five for 2021 – the list is endless.
5. What does sustainable fashion mean to you?
Sustainable fashion is important in the sense that it creates fashion in a way which is most considerate of humanity and the environment, reducing the environmental impact wherever possible.
The ultimate goal is to have a system that works without leaving a negative footprint. I aim to achieve an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources and protecting our natural environment, social equality, and ecological health – all while not compromising our way of life throughout the process. Sustainable fashion also supports fairer and safer working conditions, doesn’t support child labour, reduces its carbon footprint and teaches you to love your clothes again.
6. What are you working on at the moment and what’s next for you?
I am currently working on my Autumn/Winter 23 collection and Spring/Summer 24 collection, as well as G-Star Raw Certified Tailor projects. There are more projects lined up!