scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Ties that bind

Maki & Mpho

The launch of Maki & Mpho, a new line of men’s neckwear, goes far beyond ties and pocket squares.

Cofounders Maki Nakata, 31, and Mpho Muendane, 28, hope the Boston-based accessories collection will be a platform for modern African design.

“In a lot of the fashion world, images are tied to Western capitals,” said Nakata, who started the company after studying at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. “We want more diversity, and I think it’s starting to change with more emerging designers and people appreciating different aesthetics.”

The line’s debut — 5-9 p.m. Wednesday at Scotch & Soda on Newbury Street — is a showcase of Muendane’s designs, which were inspired by her heritage. Born in Manchester, N.H., Muendane lived in South Africa as a teenager studying textile design and visual communications.


Muendane’s navy Kwakwa print, named for an imaginary African crane-guinea fowl hybrid, depicts deconstructed parts of the bird. More abstract is her Sweet Grass style, which was inspired by generations of ancestors. Muendane created a layered effect of an orange geometric print patterned over a navy one.

“We want our textile design to tell a more diverse, a more modern story of Africa,” said Nakata. The collection, which ranges from $65 to $155, features pocket squares and stationery along with bow and neck ties. After the trunk show, the accessories will be available at

“The goal is to show more modern design,” said Nakata. “We hope to help nurture others in the continent.”

Jill Radsken can be reached at