Fashion & Homeware News South Africa

2023 Amiri Prize awarded to local designer Lukhanyo Mdingi

Lukhanyo Mdingi, a Cape Town-based designer has been named the winner of the 2023 Amiri Prize, an annual fashion award and incubator, which was open to international designers for the first time.

The Amiri Prize was launched in 2021 to encourage greater inclusivity in the industry by highlighting up-and-coming talent from fashion and fashion-adjacent fields. Amiri hopes the prize will spotlight “unique and varied voices shaping our future” and establish a support system outside what he calls “the often-inaccessible establishment”.

The 31-year-old designer will receive $100,000 and a year-long mentorship programme that will assist him in expanding his business, particularly in the US.

Mdingi established his fashion line in 2015 after studying fashion design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town.

He collaborates with local artisans in the region to offer playful ready-to-wear looks for men and women filled with colour, intricately woven knits, and dynamic silhouettes. He has previously been a finalist for the LVMH Prize and Andam Grand Prize.

His pieces have graced the runways of New York Fashion Week, the British Fashion Council International Showcase, South African Men’s Fashion Week as well as the Pitti Immagine Uomo: Generation Africa stage.

Mdingi was one of nine finalists who competed for the prize, up against tough competition from Abdel El Tayeb of El Tayeb Nation, Dorian Who, Ekwerike Chukwuma of Wuman, Grace Ling, Keith Herron of Advisry, Li Gong of 8On8, Luke Zhou and Mike Huang, the duo behind LukeWarmPeople, and Maxwell Osborne of AnOnlyChild.

Mdingi’s label impressed the judges with how it continues to “strike a chord on the international stage with multiple accolades while celebrating this local community's human ingenuity and cultural significance”.

Commenting on the win, Mdingi said: "We're incredibly thankful to the Amiri Prize, its jury committee and Mike Amiri for the immeasurable opportunity extended to the Lukhanyo Mdingi label, we look forward to receiving the fundamental guidance needed to steadily grow our independent business and vision."

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