By Nomali Cele
Young blood doesn’t always get its due acknowledgement in industries.
Meet three young fashion designers who capture the spirit of being young and African and talented today. All three designers are creating functional fashion that their dream customers can wear in their daily lives.
Rich Mnisi of Rich Mnisi
Rich Mnisi founded his namesake fashion brand in 2014 and was named Young Designer of the Year. He is a graduate of the Leaders in the Science of Fashion (LISOF) institute in Johannesburg. Mnisi is a young designer in every aspect of the term and this was highlighted when he launched his A/W 2016 collection on social media using prominent Instagram faces such as Thithi Nteta, Lulama Mlambo and Trevor Stuurman.
Mnisi’s designs are rich, gritty and as tied to the everyday as they are to trends. From reinterpreting denim fashion to bringing back the polo-neck bolder than ever, Rich Mnisi marches to his own beat.
Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth and Ashes
Anisa Mpungwe’s designer CV is impressive. In 2014, the Tanzania-born designer collaborated with African fast fashion favourite, Mr Price, to create an affordable range filled with classic pieces that the ordinary woman could afford.
Loin Cloth and Ashes was launched in 2008 after Mpungwe was crowned the winner of the ELLE magazine Rising Designers contest. If you are looking for striking print, this is the women’s wear brand to look out for. Loin Cloth and Ashes offers colourful statement garments that go beyond stereotypical “African print.”
Lukhanyo Mdingi came out of the gate doing women’s wear and doing it well. The designer launched his eponymous fashion label in 2013 but just as the world thought it had nailed the Lukhanyo Mdingi brand and had a grip on what he was doing, his next collection was all menswear!
A graduate of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Lukhanyo Mdingi’s designs always seem to be grappling with concepts of time, whether it’s the past and drawing from ancient orient methods or the future as highlighted by his collection, Iridescence, of which the look-book concept was reminiscent of space shuttle interiors.
Whichever style rocks your boat – these designers have futures is as enchanting as their collections!
Who is your favourite young fashion designer?