The recent announcement of a collaboration between Sanlam and designer, Laduma Ngxokolo, throws into focus the potentially mutually beneficial, and lucrative relationship that can be established between big corporates and creative entrepreneurs, with corporates standing to benefit from the creativity and innovation that entrepreneurs bring to the table.
Sanlam, one of the largest financial services groups in South Africa and Ngxokolo, founder of internationally-acclaimed fashion brand, MaXhosa by Laduma have introduced a world first – a wearable tech bracelet that is aimed at making saving easier, which was launched during National Savings Month this month.
Mna Nam is a limited edition accessory and is made from acrylic and features Laduma’s signature bold patterns.
Sanlam is not the only big name to collaborate with Ngxokolo, who is currently hot property with big brands clamouring to partner with him. In a recent interview with business publication Moneyweb, Ngxokolo said his uniquely African and authentic approach is what his fans, followers and corporate partners are drawn to.
“Basically, I believe that being authentic and keeping it real is important, and people are attracted to that more than myself as Laduma. They are attracted to seeing what African fashion could be. So I brought that to the industry and that is what people wanted and have been waiting for. So it has helped me elevate and create awareness of my work without me pushing it.”
We explore the entrepreneurial ingenuity and creative energy that MaXhosa by Laduma brings to big name partnerships by looking at their 3 biggest collaborations.
1. MNA NAM CUFF BY LADUMA FOR SANLAM
This is one of Ngxokolo’s biggest collaborations which saw him team up with Sanlam to create the Mna Nam cuff. The cuff is embedded with a QR code that’s linked to the WeChat Savings Wallet powered by Standard Bank. The wearer can at any time scan the code to save into the wallet.
According to Warable.com, collaborations between fashion designers and tech companies are on the rise: “From Swarovski to the Fossil Q Accomplice and everyone in between, wearable technology is moving away from horrid black boxes and into luxurious designs. And as the tech gets smaller, these top designers can push the boundaries even further.”
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2. Laduma Ngxokolo Teams Up With Chivas Regal
Laduma Ngxokolo and Chivas Regal South Africa launched an initiative aimed at empowering South African creative entrepreneurs early this year. The initiative, according to the MaXhosa website, aims to “empower design entrepreneurs with knowledge to get them to build their businesses faster; and create employment opportunities for themselves and others, to confront the increasing 25% unemployment rate challenge in South Africa”.
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3. MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York) Project
Ngxokolo is also working on a project with MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York), the biggest design museum in the world, he told Moneyweb in a recent interview. He’ll be launching a project which will be on exhibition from November to January 2018.
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