Chats with Lukhanyo Mdingi

It is such an honour having this humble designer answer a few burning questions of mine.

Lukhanyo was a finalist in the Elle Rising Star Design Awards as well as part of the Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives Programme for 2015. Since then this young East London born designer, now living in Cape Town has been making waves in the fashion industry with two very distinctive collections that graced the runway at the 2015 SA Men’s Wear this year in Cape Town.

 

2015 SA Menswear Week AW

Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

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How was the experience of showcasing your creations at the very first SA Menswear Week in Cape Town?

Phenomenal. It truly paved the way for so many menswear brands. Being a part of that is really gratifying. 

 

I myself feel that SA Menswear Cape Town was a step in the right direction and long overdue. Finally, there is a larger platform for designers to really get creative with fabrics, textures and designs for men. Was this in your opinion needed and do you think very beneficial? 

I think it’s beneficial for any creative to explore their mediums and fabric just happens to be mine. Progression is one of the key things that allow me to explore different fabric types. Why limit yourself? That’s lame. If you’re a creative then create. 

 

Let’s chat about those gorgeous jaw dropping creations that went down the runway. What inspired your designs…? Combining navy blue silks, chiffon shirts and pleated shorts & pants? An unusual combination for men, however, this just seemed to WORK for you! 

Thank You 🙂 

Simple. I created pieces and chose fabrics that I instantly fell in love with – don’t over complicate things. 

 

Do you find it easier designing for men or woman, or do you think you have a good balance between the two? Seen that you are generally regarded as a menswear designer.

I’ve positioned myself as a menswear designer. 

Being part of the SAMW has been so incredible, it’s really rad knowing that the brand is being part of a powerful movement. I believe that my clothes are not for one specific gender as I can see it being worn by many. 

 

We are seeing a lot more feminine fabrics being used for menswear, do you see this as a trend or a way of evolving menswear to a whole new level?

I see it as fabric not necessarily having a gender specification – and it shouldn’t have a gender specification. 

 

Your name is on the lips of everyone lately in the fashion industry. You have created quite the household name for yourself. How do you keep yourself grounded?

Thank You 🙂 

I’m far from a household name, far!

I’m really grateful for the position that I’m in. I have the opportunity to create and design, a lot of my past peers don’t have that opportunity at all but this is based by the choices that we make. 

Fortunately for me, I didn’t waste any time.    

           

What would you say are trends to look out for this coming summer?

To be honest, I have no idea! I really don’t. 

 

What designer do you admire or aspire to be? 

I admire my fellow South African young designers, I feel as though we are all pushing each other one way or the other and it’s important! 

One of my favourite designers is Christian Dior and Raf Simmons. 

 

What three items can you NOT live without this coming summer?

My Cap, Pimms Cup’s, Polaroid Camera. 

 

Your style tip for transitioning from winter into spring/summer wear?

Just follow the gradual climate change. Take it easy. Giving style tips can be so one dimensional, we all have different styles and ways of putting on your personal items. 

 

What do you wish you knew then that you know now? 

Nothing. I love the process of learning and knowing things when I’m supposed to. It adds so much onto myself as a human being. 

 

What’s next, what’s in the pipeline? 

Production.

 

As Raw Explosions supports young aspiring designers, what advice can you give those starting out? 

Please do not lose sight of the reasons of why you first started. Please! 

It’s incredibly hard but so rewarding when you have accomplished your goal, but remember to persevere and be consistent with your creatively. And let that perseverance and love overflow into your work. 

 

2015 SA Menswear Week SS16

Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

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Thank you for your time Lukhanyo. We wish you all the best for the future. Defiantly a true talent to keep your eyes on.

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