Designer focus Meet Not Good Enough’s Lebogang Mokgoko
Meet Lebogang Mokgoko, the Pretoria-based photographer turned designer and creative director of his own brand Not Good Enough, a design and consulting company that specialises in contemporary apparel and home designs. Here, he talks the future of African
Glamour: What made you want to venture into the industry?
Lebogang Mokgoko: I think, in essence, I’m in love with the art of storytelling and the amount of freedom the industry gives you to create works of art that other individuals can relate to and find appreciation for. G: Have you always had a passion for design? LM: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a visual person; taking a particular interest in how something looked. It was only when I attended Pro Arte Alphen Park, a high school in Pretoria that specifically focuses on the arts, that I started to get into art and fashion, and studying the likes of Martin Margiela, Alexander Mcqueen, Yohji Yamamoto and Hedi Slimane. Learning about these ‘gods’ of the industry inspired me to create and share stories of my own so that another kid with a similar background and upbringing could get inspiration and create their own visions, too.
G: What came first, design or photography?
LM: I can’t picture one without the other, they work hand-in-hand. I grew up with Hedi Slimane (who is both a fashion photographer and designer) as an influence, so that discipline was so instilled in me that when I got to LISOF, I had to fight to do both mediums at the same time because the curriculum wasn’t set up in a way to do both. Yes, designing is the process of making something, but I also believe it’s a visual thing. You have to have an understanding of both worlds in order for your work to reach a certain level of quality. G: What is your aesthetic when it comes to capturing an image? LM: I don’t capture moments, I create them. I want to provoke an emotion, good or bad. In order to do that, I’ll play around with colour, texture and pushing gender-neutral ideas. G: How do you feel about global fashion in 2018? LM: Fashion is in a weird space right now. There’s an unspoken ‘war’ between fast fashion and the art of fashion. It has really become more about the hype than the actual clothes, which I find very sad. G: What are your thoughts on African fashion of the past while moving forward into the future? LM: It’s an exciting time for African fashion because of all the doors that are opening up for African brands. In the past, we were still searching for our voices and creating collections based on what others assumed was ‘African’. Now, we’re really questioning the African identity and are slowly beginning to control the narrative. G: In this competitive industry, how are you making your mark? LM: By creating garments that speak to a time beyond now, not those following a trend.