5 Emerging Creatives To Look Out For at Design Indaba #1: Lukhanyo Mdingi

INTERVIEWED BY Malibongwe Tyilo IMAGES Travys Owen


Since Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives programme was first launched in 2005, it has grown to be a coveted platform for young designers.

Those whose applications are successful get a chance to show off their creations to thousands of visitors, including buyers, the press and the public, over five days at the Design Indaba Expo. Leading up to this year’s Indaba, we will be introducing you to five creatives to watch from this year’s incredibly talented selection.

First off, we start with Lukhanyo Mdingi, a 22-year-old Cape Town-based designer who first got on our radar in 2013, when he earned a place amongst the top seven finalists for fashion magazine, ELLE’s Rising Star Awards, while still a fashion design student. Just a little over two months ago, in November 2014, we weren’t at all surprised when his “Iridescence” collection, which formed part of his final thesis, “Avant Garde Menswear: A Challenge to South African Fashion”, popped up on Fucking Young, the inimitable Spanish menswear site.

How would you describe, in your own words, what you do? 

I’m a young South African fashion designer. I design garments and apparel purely based on concepts, inspiration and innovation. This is my way of following my passion and making a positive contribution to fashion.

What do you think sets your work apart?

I believe with each project and collection that I have worked on, all are distinct in their own way; they each become a tangible representation of a concept-based idea. This is what sets them apart from each other and as well as other designers.

What does it mean to you to be selected as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives?

It’s incredible. For me, it becomes an opportunity to not only be involved in a hub where there are so many other creatives to learn from, but more importantly it allows me to showcase my work and introduce the Lukhanyo Mdingi brand to the world.

Any plans in the near future that we should know about?

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking a step further by going into production.

Who do you rate In your chosen field?

The young generation of South African fashion designers: Rich Mnisi, Jenevieve Lyons, Tamara Cherie Dyson and Nicholas Coutts.

We say world domination, you say?

… Let’s show them flames.

Come back next week for #2 of our Emerging Creatives to watch. Missed the others? You’ll find the rest of our interviews right here.

Click here for the full list of this year’s Emerging Creatives.