As a little girl, Nomsa Mabuto Botshiwe loved dressing up. It was only while learning the basics of sewing in high school that she realised her love of clothes could become a career. Once she saw the possibilities, there was no looking back and she taught herself the technical skills needed to realise this dream.
Deploying the vibrant prints usually associated with Nigeria and Ghana, Nomsa draws on her own Zimbabwean heritage to introduce new colour and design components to the New Zealand fashion industry. As the founder and creative director of eponymous label Nomsa Mabuto, her aim is to make bold prints effortlessly wearable, challenging New Zealand’s love affair with black and encouraging freedom of expression.
Her Autumn/Winter collection, Mabuto, recently showed in the New Generations showcase at New Zealand Fashion Week. “Mabuto” means “soldier”, and is intended to engage with empowerment: her collection contrasts feminine and masculine elements in a series of powerful looks. Each outfit in the collection is named after a woman who has inspired and supported Nomsa through her life.
Text by Arielle Walker. Banner image © Nomsa Mabuto Botshiwe.
Last published September 2014.