Former Design Indaba Emerging Creative Lukhanyo Mdingi has won a prestigious international fashion prize.
South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi was announced as the winner of the 2023 Amiri Prize on Monday, 30 October 2023. The exciting prize, established in 2021, is an annual award and incubator programme established to encourage, nurture and showcase up-and-coming talent from fashion and fashion-adjacent fields whose voices might not otherwise be heard.
Mdingi will take home $100 000 (almost R2 million), and be the beneficiary of a year-long mentorship programme with Mike Amiri himself, the founder, CEO and creative director of the AMIRI fashion brand.
Mdingi, based in Cape Town, graduated with a B.Tech in fashion from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2014 before founding his eponymous label in 2015 – the same year he was selected to be a part of Design Indaba’s prestigious Emerging Creatives programme. Mdingi went on to present at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. In 2021 he was selected as co-winner of the LVMH Karl Lagerfeld prize, and he was a finalist for the ANDAM Prize in 2022.
Mdingi’s internationally recognised label was described by AMIRI as preserving craftsmanship and reinstating dignity, ‘while continually collaborating with artisans on the continent, such as the expert weavers from Philani in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, to textile artisans in Burkina Faso’.The eight other finalists were reviewed by a prestigious line-up of panellists, including Amiri, American fashion designer Colm Dillane, New York-based stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, American fashion stylist Law Roach, American costume designer June Ambrose, magazine editors Rocco Liu and Will Welch, American footwear designer Salehe Bembury and British fashion designer Samuel Ross.
Mdingi paid tribute to his peers in a post-award statement, saying, ‘I look forward to your perennial rise on the journey ahead.’