US basketball star Dwyane Wade during a broadcast of a virtual conference on ending systemic racism. Screengrab: Julie Cohen/Twitter
  • Former US basketball star Dwyane Wade wore a jersey made by SA design brand house Maxhosa during his presentation at a widely-watched anti-racism conference.
  • He is the latest in a long line of celebrities to sport the MaXhosa brand.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The former US basketball star Dwyane Wade caused some excitement among local fashionistas by sporting a jersey made by SA design brand house Maxhosa Africa. 

Wade, ranked one of the top players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) during his career at the Miami Heat team, was a speaker at a conference about ending systemic racism, organised by a top sports and entertainment agency in the US.

During the widely watched online conversation with the NBA head Adam Silver, they discussed the association’s track-record when it comes to racism. Viewers describe it as a “thoughtful” and “candid and sincere” conversation.

American filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who directed movies like Selma, A Wrinkle in Time and When They See Us, also tweeted about the event:

MaXhosa noticed what Wade was wearing: a $268 (R4,700) jersey from its own range.

The jersey is a collaboration between MaXhosa and the fashion brand Melo Made, which is owned by another former NBA star, Carmelo Anthony. 

The Melo Made X MaXhosa crewneck top.

Maxhosa was founded by Laduma Ngxokolo in 2012, and Wade is the latest in a long line of celebrities – including Alicia Keys and Beyoncé – who have worn his clothes in public.

The clothing line was born from a final year project at the Nelson Mandela University. He wanted to create a knitwear collection that reflected his isiXhosa heritage, and decided to focus on the male initiation ceremony. The rite of passage from boyhood to manhood involves the purchase of a new 'mature' wardrobe, which usually includes a premium quality jersey. He created knitwear for the project that he believed resonated with young Xhosa initiates, and this sparked a business idea.

MaXhosa recently opened its first shop in the Mall of Africa.

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