Gavin wears trousers, Stiaan Louw; trainers, Converse; Ethiopian fabric, stylists own  

Gavin wears trousers, Stiaan Louw; trainers, Converse; Ethiopian fabric, stylists own
 

Gandhi wears full look, Rich Mnisi  

Gandhi wears full look, Rich Mnisi
 

Gandhi wears full look, Lukhanyo Mdingi  

Gandhi wears full look, Lukhanyo Mdingi
 

Gavin wears coat, Rich Mnisi  

Gavin wears coat, Rich Mnisi
 

Gandhi wears vest and PVC biker, both Stiaan Louw; Knit trousers, Maxhosa by Laduma  

Gandhi wears vest and PVC biker, both Stiaan Louw; Knit trousers, Maxhosa by Laduma
 

Gavin wears full look, Lukhanyo Mdingi
 

Gandhi wears full look, Rich Mnisi; t-shirt stylists own  

Gandhi wears full look, Rich Mnisi; t-shirt stylists own
 

Ghandi wears coat, Rich Mnisi  

Ghandi wears coat, Rich Mnisi
 

Gavin wears full look, Lukhanyo Mdingi; Ethiopian fabric, stylists own  

Gavin wears full look, Lukhanyo Mdingi; Ethiopian fabric, stylists own
 

 
 

South Africa’s most experimental menswear talents form the uniform for discovery across the dunes and coves of an unchartered landscape



Interview One: Lukhanyo Mdingi

Lukhanyo Mdingi studied at Cape Peninsula University of Technology and captured the attention of international media with his SS16 lookbook Taintless. Staying true to his minimalist aesthetic, the gender-fluid range features loose silhouettes in tonal shades of navy.

Describe you brand in five words.
Clean. Empowering. Contemporary. Sophisticated. Pure.

Who is your customer?
An individual who has an appreciation of contemporary basics and luxury.

What does being an African designer mean to you?
Using my talent as a way to empower and enrich my country and my continent. Making a contribution to a fashion landscape that has so much to offer.

Dream collaboration?
Working with Iris Van Herpen and Raf Simons would be pretty damn sweet.

Best piece of creative advice you’ve received?
Prize love, passion and perseverance above all.

What is on your playlist?
The Hurts, Tame Impala and Hot Chip.

What’s the most frustrating thing about the fashion industry?
The lack of resources, textiles and government support available in South Africa.

What do you hope to contribute to fashion
I hope I can be some sort of inspiration to just one significant other so they can aim to do better than I and better than themselves, so that a wave of creatives can enrich one another. The future holds growth.

Visit Lukhanyo Mdingi


Interview Two: Rich Mnisi

“Unconventional, liberal, expressive, progressive and imagined” is how Rich Mnisi describes his sports luxe brand. Born in Johannesburg, Mnisi’s interest in architecture and photography lead him to study at LISOF and he was named the AFI Young Designer of the Year in 2014.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
It's very spontaneous. I always have a bit of quirk in everything and it's a noisy minimalist approach.

Who is your customer?
They are a progressive bunch of people who want to experience life in its complexities. They are obsessed with beauty in its many forms and continuously driven to discover.

In what ways are you inspired by pop culture?
Music, art and film re-enact reality and enact a possible future. They give us an inside look at what is and what could be. My designs combine these now and future worlds.

Describe your SS16 collection?
The inspiration stems from township culture of the 1980s and 1990s, which was a period full of life and when there were blurred lines between men and women’s aesthetics. The tones are muted and metallic, there are a lot of easy textures, relaxed silhouettes and details such as cut outs and pleats.

What does being an African designer mean to you?
I am part of a generation that is still developing an industry with great promise and that allows many to live and breathe their passion. It's a good time to be a part of it.

What is on your playlist?
Petite Noir’s La Vie Est Belle.

Dream collaboration?
Lina Iris Viktor - her work is brilliant.

Best piece of creative advice you’ve received?
Understand what you want to say before you open your mouth.  

What does the future hold for you and your brand?
I would love to grow globally by offering beautiful clothes, identity, craftsmanship and passion. I am open minded enough to welcome any possibility that comes my way.

Visit Rich Mnisi


Interview Three: Stiaan Louw

Stiaan Louw studied at the Haute Couture School of Fashion Design in Cape Town, where he developed an affinity for cut and construction. He went on to work as a stylist and womenswear designer before moving to menswear in 2008. His work explores social and sexual subcultures as a means of deconstructing male archetypes.

How and why did you get into fashion?
I grew up in a conservative community but when a fellow school pupil introduced me to the work of Ann Demeulemeester, Vivienne Westwood and Gaultier I felt liberated.

Describe your SS16 collection?
Cut-out details for men. Contrasting fitted and oversized shapes. Homo-erotic.

Best piece of creative advice you’ve received?
Focus on what you need to do as opposed to what anyone else is doing.

Highlight of your career so far?
Receiving the Best Menswear Designer in Africa award in 2010 and showing during London Fashion Week in 2011.

What does being an African designer mean to you?
We live in such a digital world that it is difficult to tell where a designer originates from or is based today. I think designers from Africa have the opportunity to tell unique stories through their work.

What is on your playlist?
Alt-J and Eurythmics.

What’s the most frustrating thing about the fashion industry?
A lack of integrity. We need less inflated hype and more authentic success stories.

What do you hope to contribute to fashion?
It makes me happy when my work inspires people, especially when they don't work in fashion.

Visit Stiaan Louw


Interview Four: Ladumu Ngxokolo

Born in Port Elizabeth, Laduma Ngxokolo studied textiles at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University before launching MaXhosa by Laduma. His knitwear brand fuses Xhosa cultural motifs and beading with modern design. Ngxokolo has won several awards and competitions, including Vogue Italia’s Scouting For Africa, and is currently competing a Masters at London’s Central Saint Martins.

Describe your brand in five words.
Aesthetic. Bold. Distinctive. Authentic. Ethnic.

How would you describe you aesthetic?
I am inspired by my heritage, the Xhosa culture, patterns, colour and international trends.

Describe your SS16 collection?
It celebrates dark African skin tones with contrasting bright hues to elevate the appreciation of diversity. It captures the beauty of being truly African and proud in a modern context that seeks an eternal way of communicating culture through fashion.

Who would you love to see wearing your brand?
Erykah Badu, Michelle Obama, Simphiwe Dana, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams.

What is on your playlist?
Bongeziwe Mabandla's Ekhaya, Kendrik Lemar's To Pimp a Butterfly, Camagwini's Umbulelo.

Best piece of creative advice you’ve received?
Be host to yourself and design from the heart, with the spirit of the time in mind.

What do you hope to contribute to fashion?
I hope to be an agent of change, shifting and evolving with the times and further engaging in the dialogue that keeps pushing traditional culture toward the future.

What does the future hold for you and your brand?
What does the future hold for you and your brand? My aspiration is to become a leading fashion and lifestyle brand in Africa.

Visit Maxhosa by Laduma


Photographer Rudi Geyser
Fashion director Tammy Tinker
Fashion assistant and words Chandra Mophethe
Models Gandhi Mukiza and Gavin Mikey Collins