5 Mins with fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi

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A home-grown talent who has earned huge critical acclaim locally as well as internationally, Lukhanyo Mdingi is a pure minimalist who weaves a different story into each of his collections. This design process holds true to his philosophy of making a powerful and positive contribution to our African landscape by producing finely cut and refined pieces that are distinct and powerful, with timeless elegance and sophistication.

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His new label, Essentials, is now available on Spree. This collection is inspired by a juxtaposition of vintage classics and modern refinement. Here, we talk to him about his inspirations, what sets him apart and what he’s excited about now.

What is the inspiration behind the collection that’s has just launched on Spree?

Our Essentials collection, now on Spree, is inspired by the juxtaposition of vintage classics and modern refinement. We have added two exclusive pieces from our celebrated Purgation Collection, givingthe customer a taste of our main luxury label as well.

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What do you think sets you apart from other fashion designers?

It’s our intention and how we use the power of story-telling. That’s the beauty about being a South African designer; it’s that we all celebrate the spirit of authenticity in our own special way.

How would you describe your style of design?

It’s an amalgamation of things. I approach my design process by looking into the soulfulness and heritage of stories together with the foundation and construction of vintage pieces.

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What would you say is your biggest career highlight so far?

Working with a team – I believe that there is nothing more powerful than the power of a collective. Fortunately for me, this is part of my every day.

What materials and fabrics do you use to create your collections and why?

Wools, silks, cottons, poly blends… We focus on our cuts and silhouettes, so it’s imperative the products are on par with each style.

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Who do you have in mind when designing a new collection?

A person who has an innate connection with heritage and soulfulness. There is a seamless ease of timeless elegance that transcends in our pieces. It’s characteristics such as these that will attract the individual.

What are your top three Lukhanyo Mdingi must-have items for winter?

The Harper Coat, Eden Jacket and our olive-green Calvin Open-Collar Shirt.

What do you find exciting about African design and the creative scene right now?

The way each designer is celebrating the rich diversity that co-exists on our continent; bearing the importance of approaching these cultures with a well-informed background and respect.

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