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Lukhanyo Mdingi wins the 2023 Amiri Prize

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Lukhanyo Mdingi Portrait Credits: Amiri Prize

Cape Town-based designer Lukhanyo Mdingi has been named the winner of the 2023 Amiri Prize, an annual fashion award and incubator, which was open to international designers for the first time.

The South African designer established his eponymous fashion line in 2015 and collaborates with local artisans in the region to offer playful ready-to-wear looks for men and women filled with colour, intricately woven knits, and dynamic silhouettes. He has previously been a finalist for the LVMH Prize and Andam Grand Prize.

Mdingi was one of nine finalists who competed for the prize, up against tough competition from Abdel El Tayeb of El Tayeb Nation, Dorian Who, Ekwerike Chukwuma of Wuman, Grace Ling, Keith Herron of Advisry, Li Gong of 8On8, Luke Zhou and Mike Huang, the duo behind LukeWarmPeople, and Maxwell Osborne of AnOnlyChild.

As the winner, he will receive a year-long mentorship with Mike Amiri, the founder and creative director of LA-based brand Amiri and a 100,000 US dollar grant.

Amiri Prize awarded to South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi

In a statement, the prize said that Mdingi’s label impressed the judges with how it continues to “strike a chord on the international stage with multiple accolades while celebrating this local community's human ingenuity and cultural significance”.

Commenting on the win, Mdingi said: "We're incredibly thankful to the Amiri Prize, its jury committee and Mike Amiri for the immeasurable opportunity extended to the Lukhanyo Mdingi label, we look forward to receiving the fundamental guidance needed to steadily grow our independent business and vision."

The Amiri Prize was launched in 2021 to encourage greater inclusivity in the industry by highlighting up-and-coming talent from fashion and fashion-adjacent fields. Amiri hopes the prize will spotlight “unique and varied voices shaping our future” and establish a support system outside what he calls “the often-inaccessible establishment”.

Mike Amiri added: “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. 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.”

Amiri Prize
Lukhanyo Mdingi
Mike Amiri