H&M Collaborates with South African Brand, Mantsho

This partnership with South Africa’s Mantsho is the first ever that Swedish H&M has done with an African designer. The creator of the Mantsho label is Palesa Mokubung. She founded the brand in 2004 and has since graced many runways globally, including the United States, India and Greece. ‘Mantsho’ is a word in Mokubung’s native Sesotho language meaning ‘Black is Beautiful’. H&M announced this partnership on the 16th of April 2019. They said the South African label will “introduce a dose of fresh fun and uniquely South African aesthetic to H&M customers around the world”.

Both H&M and Mantsho feel that the collection is exciting, according to a statement that they released jointly.

“Mantsho x H&M is an exciting collection celebrating the elegance and vibrancy of Africa with modern edgy designs created for the stylish carefree woman.”

H&M described the Mantsho brand on Twitter as they ushered in their new partnership.

“Confident, vibrant and bold: this is the world of South African brand Mantsho. #MANTSHOxHM”

In response, Palesa expressed how she felt on her Instagram page.

“I have no words.”

They launched the collection on the 15th of August 2019. It consists of women’s clothes and accessories. The new collection gives H&M customers all over the world a uniquely South African feel. It consists of flowing, easy fitting cuts in a wide range of color palettes, such as hues of pink and amber red. It also features chunky earrings and print heavy clutch bags.

In a statement, thirty-eight years old Mokubung mentioned that the collection is her love letter from Africa to the world and she hopes that customers globally will love it.

“I hope customers around the world will enjoy this ensemble of my stand out pieces from my last three collections.”

Swedish retailer H&M has in the past not had good relations with its South African audience. This is especially due to the fact that H&M released an image of a black boy wearing a green hood with the slogan ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ in 2018.

This angered many South Africans who felt that this was racist. This led to the trashing of H&M stores in South Africa. South Africans demanded that the H&M executives should go for training on racial sensitivity and diversity.

The Swedish retail giant had to apologize for the incident through its South African website following the occurrence.

“We have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry.”

Mokubung’s collection for H&M is now available online and in stores around the world including Belgium, France, Israel, Spain and the United Kingdom. This has earned her more recognition as compared to her stores in South Africa only.

H&M expressed how excited they were to share the Mantsho collection with their customers in a statement.

“We are so excited to share this collection with our customers across the globe.”

The retailer has collaborated with the prestigious French fashion house, Balmain as well as Italian designer, Moschino in the past. Palesa Mokubung now hopes that her success story will be an inspiration to other African women.


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