The African fashion industry is alive with possibilities. It is full of young, talented creatives who are eager to succeed in this growing industry because whether you like it or not, we all need clothes.

IOL Lifestyle spoke to Mimangaliso Ndiko, a 23-year-old fashion designer who founded Sixx6.

Sixx6 is a sustainable high-end ready-to-wear brand that promotes unrestricted concepts of self-expression through clothing. Its aesthetic combines vintage corporate suiting and pre-colonial silhouette shapes. It comprises detachable components and adjustable features that further increase the longevity of every garment.

“Pre-colonial silhouettes were the perfect example of self-confidence, a celebration of body positivity, sex appeal and that’s what our brand stands for,” explains the Gqeberha-born and bred designer.

Ndiko, raised by his grandmother Pumla Ndiko, was fortunate enough to have someone with an open mind. His grandmother allowed him to explore the freedom to be creative at a young age. When in Grade 5, he already had a file full of sketches.

When he finished matric, he moved to KwaZulu-Natal to study Fashion and Textiles at the Durban University of Technology.

“I’ve always kinda viewed fashion as my Sixx6’th sense, an ulterior sense that’s linked to physical expressionism. You are what you wear, and fashion was one of the only key entities I felt I knew best communicate my thoughts, feelings, identity and anything I want to release from my mind. Basically, I’m venting with my clothes, and the aesthetics can get a little bit dark because I’m not always portraying a beautiful story,” Ndiko says.

The designer won the South African Fashion Week Student Competition 2021 and made it to the 2022 SA Fashion Week New Talent Search finals, where he showcased the ‘Hubble Lemaitre’ collection.

Recently, he attended African Fashion International Cape Town Fashion Week and presented one look as part of the AFI Fastrack programme. As one of the AFI Fastrack finalists, he is required to create a collection that will not only blow the judges away but is also sustainable.

“The look I presented at AFI Cape Town Fashion Week was an introduction look to the brand’s identity image.

“It had my signature skirt silhouette inspired by the pre-colonial African skirt/waist wrap and vintage plaid suiting details that have been a recurring phenomenon in my brand as a juxtaposition to ‘colonialism’ to create a modern-day take on that silhouette. The jacket/top had adjustable components which was a nod to my brand’s sustainability model.”

After completing the programme- which teaches them how to produce a fashion show, preparing Excel spreadsheets for submitting their garments to retail-Ndiko and other finalists will showcase their Autumn/Winter 24 collections.

“I don’t want to spill too many details with regard to the inspiration of my collection, but I will be tapping into my African identity way more than I ever have in comparison to my past collections,” he explains.

Other emerging designers who are on the AFI Fastrack programme include Thandazani Nofingxana of Abantu, Xhanti Xabiso Mpu of XHVNTI, Xolani Magadla & Mawande Mbawuli of Xolani Mawande, Loice Dube of Lo’Ice, Kgotsofalo Given Monyamate of Articles From MARS and Botshelo Molete of Mekhukhu.

Hubble Lemaitre collection by Mimangaliso Ndiko is is still available at Africarise in Sandton City and Menlyn Mall.

Read the latest issue of IOL Fashion digital magazine here.

2023-05-25T14:05:03Z dg43tfdfdgfd