Lukhanyo Mdingi is the winner of the Amiri Prize, which this year was opened to designers from around the world.
Mdingi was one of nine finalists who competed for the prize, which brings with it a $100,000 grant and a yearlong mentorship with Mike Amiri, a Los Angeles designer who launched the prize in 2021.
“This year’s talent was exceptional, and it was difficult to select a frontrunner, but Lukhanyo’s vision and approach stood out to all of us,” Amiri said. “His recent collections have seen him fine tune a singular aesthetic and sensibility, but just as commendable is the purpose behind what he does — for his wider community and culture — and this resonates with serious brand potential.”
Mdingi, born in 1992, launched his fashion line eight years ago in Cape Town and celebrates the local artisans in his community. The South African designer, who creates men’s and women’s fashions, said he was thankful for the opportunity to grow and extend his label. “We look forward to receiving the fundamental guidance needed to steadily grow our independent business and vision,” Mdingi said in a statement.
For his spring 2023 collection shown in Paris, Mdingi was inspired by the street style and craftsmanship of Burkina Faso, where many of his clothes are made. “Lukhanyo Mdingi is a skillful artist with color and textiles whose collections are both playful and sophisticated,” noted American footwear designer Salehe Bembury, one of the prize’s jury members.
Amiri set up the Amiri Prize in 2021 to help the next generation of fashion-oriented creatives. For the inaugural prize in 2021, Philadelphia-based designer Lou Badger was the winner. After taking a break last year, the award competition returned this year and was expanded to international designers.
The eight other prize finalists were: Abdel El Tayeb of France; Dorian Rahimzadeh of Iran; Ekwerike Chukwuma of Nigeria; Grace Ling, Keith Herron and Maxwell Osborne of the U.S., and Li Gong and Luke Zhou of China.