Born in Lesotho, a landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa, fashion designer Thabo Makhetha graduated from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Makhetha first established her company in 2009 as a made-to-order boutique in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She is best known for her ready-to-wear collection of capes and coats constructed out of Basotho blankets. The Basotho Blanket is named after the Basotho people, an ethnic group of the highlands of Lesotho, and is the traditional dress of men worn as a cape and for women as a wrap. This is the subject of her on-going collection under the title Kobo ea Bohali, or “blanket of prestige.” Although it is not a textile native of the Lesotho people, it has a symbol of pride and rich with meaning worn for over one hundred years. Makhetha takes a culturally significant textile and applies it to fashion in a way that is contemporary and accessible for local and international markets. Her consistent design aesthetic is encapsulated by her client, the strong and sophisticated modern business woman.
header image: Photo planetivan.com
photo credit: Sara Hume