Rich Mnisi: Fashion forward design

We talk to emerging South African fashion designer Rich Mnisi about the challenges of making a name for yourself in a young, local market.

Johannesburg-based fashion designer and Design Indaba Emerging Creative in 2015, Rich Mnisi launched his own brand (initially under the name Oath, and since rebranded as his eponymous label RICH MNISI) in 2014.

In the years since then Mnisi has shown multiple times at SA Fashion Week, his pieces have been featured in international publications like L'Officiel Manila, Vogue Italia and WWD, and he has become the undeniable darling of the South African fashion scene.

“The most important thing I’ve learnt this year is definitely confidence,” Mnisi told us in a 2016 interview. “Design is such a rough industry in general, you have to believe in it and be confident when you present your work.”

As he has refined this confidence as a designer, his work has become infused with an accessibility rarely seen from such aspirational brands. Mnisi is also one of a handful of local designers – including Thebe Magugu, AKJP, Pichulik, Maria McCloy, Sol Sol, Selfi and Young&Lazy – who have been selected to produce exclusive pieces for the recently launched 'Style By SA' capsule collection for Woolworths currently in stores.