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Loxion Kulca's Wandi Nzimande ‘changed the shape of fashion in SA'

Fashion heavyweights pay tribute to the late co-founder of one of the country's most influential brands

15 January 2021 - 10:25 By Thango Ntwasa
Wandi Nzimande on the runway during the 2019 Loxion Kulca show at SA Fashion Week.
Wandi Nzimande on the runway during the 2019 Loxion Kulca show at SA Fashion Week.
Image: J Countess/Getty Images

Fashion director and Kaya FM DJ Mzwandile “Wandi” Nzimande has died at the age of 44.

EWN reports that Nzimande passed away on Wednesday morning at the Olivedale Clinic in Johannesburg after contracting Covid-19.

Nzimande is famed for co-founding Loxion Kulca, one of SA’s most sought-after streetwear brands, together with Sechaba Mogale in 1999.

Loxion Kulca dominated the local fashion scene in the 2000s becoming the go-to brand for celebs like Zola 7, Phat Joe as well as late rappers HHP and ProKid - the latter even collaborated with the label on a sneaker line.

Their wares were so covetable that the company was plagued by a flood of fake Loxion Kulca merchandise hitting the streets.

Such was the brand’s sartorial influence that in 2019 its 20th anniversary was marked by the release of a four-part documentary, 20 Years of Loxion Kulca, on SABC1.

It’s no wonder then that Lucilla Booysen, founder of SA Fashion Week, hailed Nzimande as an artistic, authentic “leader who changed the shape of fashion in our country” in a touching tribute on Instagram.

On behalf of her team, she added “We will deeply miss the energy, loyalty, attention and the opportunities that he so freely gave to everyone around him.”

Other prominent fashionistas who’ve taken to social media to honour Nzimande include Ole Ledimo of House of Ole — former creative director of Loxion Kulca — and Tshepo Mohlala of Tshepo Jeans, who was famously commissioned to make denims for Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.

Theo Baloyi, founder of Bathu sneakers, thanked the “Grootman” for “everything”, saying “I will forever be grateful for everything you taught us and paving the way”.

Noted designer Amanda Laird Cherry expressed her sorrow in response to a post announcing Nzimande's passing on our Instagram account, The Edit: Sunday Times Fashion.

“Gone too soon! Vivid memories of the launch and vibrancy of Loxion Kulca and how Wandi’s smile would light up the whole room,” she wrote.


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