Established in 2015 by South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, his eponymous ready-to-wear label is anchored by muted elegance, stark androgyny, and distinctly fluid silhouettes. Inspired by cross-cultural references, his collections are renowned for their contemporary appeal and modern refinement. Mdingi’s garments are guided first and foremost by high quality materials including angora kid mohair, merino wools, silk, and linen: “Our chosen medium is fabric, so it’s essential that it becomes the cornerstone and foundation of each design,” he tells the CFDA. Current yet timeless, he caters to both men and women, and captures a sophisticated mood via sharply tailored coats and jackets, billowing blouses, and other elevated, everyday basics.
Originally from the small town of East London, Mdingi moved to Cape Town to study fashion design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He first made his mark on the local fashion scene as a finalist in the Elle Rising Star Design Awards, soon after which he was selected to participate in Design Indaba’s prestigious Emerging Creatives platform.
His understated elegance has captured the attention of a global audience, and the label has showcased on international platforms such as British Fashion Council's International Fashion Showcase, Pitti Uomo Immagine's 'Generation Africa' presentation, and Men's Fashion Week in New York (for which he was hand-picked by the CFDA for his forward-thinking vision). In 2020, Mdingi was chosen from a pool of 250 applicants as one of five African talents to participate in the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s first Accelerator Programme, and in 2021 was shortlisted as a semi-finalist for the coveted LVMH Prize.
Described by The Fader as a “beacon of cultural progressivism for a country mired in it’s traditional past,” Mdingi’s brand continues to evolve, each subsequent collection a reflection of the designer's adherence to his core principles of ease and sensuality, harnessed in soulful everyday designs.
- LVMH Prize, Semi-Finalist, 2021
- TWYG, Sustainable Award for Innovative Design and Use of Raw Materials, 2019
- International Fashion Showcase Finalist, 2016