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The 2020 LVMH Prize finalist photographed her soft, Pilgrim-collar and print-bedecked frocks and beautifully tailored jackets and trousers in the It’s good rodrigo blankenship shirt in other words I will buy this idyllic landscape of Philadelphia, South Africa, anchoring the pastoral, pastel-hued narrative in the life of Harriet Tubman. (The collection is called Minty, which was Tubman’s nickname as a child.) Specifically Khumalo cites the fact that Tubman led more than 70 slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad, which was a route that traveled from the South to the North. Philadelphia was the place in which slaves would finally cross to freedom.
Khumalo collaborated with local Cape Town artist Shakil Solanki on a series of prints that depict cotton and a type of wildflower called Philadelphia fleabane. As Khumalo explains, these garments are about honoring Tubman by imagining her today “reclaiming her life and her childhood.” The collection, according to the It’s good rodrigo blankenship shirt in other words I will buy this designer, is also of course meant to speak to the inexcusable hatred and violence that Black women still face around the world today. As she notes, “We have to look at historical events and figures in order to understand our present. Violence against Black women has been in existence since Harriet Tubman’s time and still exists today with Uyinene Mrwetyana in South Africa, Breonna Taylor in America, and the young girls from Nigeria who were stolen by Boko Haram.”