Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Lukhanyo Mdingi is one of the finalists in this year's edition of the ELLE Rising Star Designer search. The young designer is currently in his third year of studying and says he felt now was the perfect time for him to enter the competition.

What convinced you to take up this challenge?
I just thought it was and still is the perfect opportunity for young designers to get their name out, show their talent and to be recognised by the South African market. Also Y.O.L.O (You Only Live Once)!!

Who are your favourite South African designers and why?
Keith Henning for Adriaan Kuiters. I really appreciate his distinct design aesthetic. His choice of silhouettes and fabrics always have a sense of consistency which I think is vital as a designer and he always seems to pull it off. well.
Internationally? Which designer would you say is your absolute favourite?
There are really so many! But currently its Alexander Wang, Neil Barrett and Francisco Costa.

Do you think, as a designer, you have found your signature yet?
No, not yet. I feel like as time moves on I'm constantly influenced by so many things. When I look at my graduation collection and my Elle (in association with Mr Price) collection, they are so different! So I'm still finding my distinct style and growing as a designer.

Tell me about the collection you are putting together for the finalists' show; the inspiration, the fabrication, etc.My concept is Basics. I'm inspired by the aesthetic and principles of basic shapes. I will be using particular fabric choices that will also show the basic natural form of a woman's body. That becomes an important factor in my range.

Why do you think you went for a career in fashion?
Passion, passion and more passion, I have always had a love for the industry. I love the fact that fashion goes beyond design, there are so many other aspects about it and I just want to learn and see what I can feed off from it.

If you don't win; where to from there?
I will use all the information that I have gained from the competition. I will use the platform that they have given us and see how far I can go with all the information. I will defiantly continue in fashion and learn!! Education is key. Knowledge is very important to me. I would love to do my Btech in Fashion Design.

What other career options have you considered?
Absolutely nothing!! This has always been my first option. But if I had to really choose it would have to be in Education; teaching Fine Arts + History.

What are your thoughts on the state of South African fashion?
It’s growing! A lot! I love seeing local talent and as time goes on there is always  growth. I see it in the streets, in real people and even on blogs. Street style is becoming such an influential culture and they are making a positive contribution to the growth of South African fashion!

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