SA’s Lukhanyo Mdingi X 2021 Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize

by | Oct 13, 2021 | Culture, Design, Fashion, Lifestyle, Talent, The Wire

  • 2021 Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize winner.
  • Mdingi’s story – the making of a Fashion talent.
  • Connectivity.
  • Dedication.
  • About the Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize.

2021 Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize winner, designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, is a unique and visionary talent. He is also the third South African to win the prestigious award after Thebe Magugu won it in 2019 and Sindiso Khumalo shared the prize with all other finalists in 2020. That South Africa is dominating one of the biggest competitions on the design circuit is no easy task. It is a world fraught with critique, where only brilliance, imagination and originality will do.

Mdingis story, the making of a Fashion talent

Lukhanyo Mdingi’s journey into fashion has been all talent and full-on determination. He graduated with a standout thesis collection and an ELLE Rising Star Design Award. His menswear designs immediately cut through the noise, casting a new light on contemporary African menswear fashion, quickly identifying the rising designer as one to watch. In 2019, he debuted at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) among the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) men’s fashion week. Now, rather fittingly, he is a Karl Lagerfeld LMVH Prize winner.

“It’s been a steady and gradual rise since then and it’s has been really good because we’ve had the opportunity to solidify certain aspects of our foundation; to make them a lot stronger to prepare us for opportunities such as those we enjoy now,” said Mdingi.


Lukhanyo Mdingi’s work draws a particular strength from the community. Many of his design and production processes are outsourced to various members of the fashion scene, both locally and in the far-flung African diaspora.  In turn, the Lukhanyo Mdingi brand champions true inclusion, taking on the variations, textures, ideas, and creative power of a multi-faceted community. One could say he is nurturing and channelling the great African state of Awareness.


Dedication & human connection underscores Mdingi’s motives. He took to Instagram to post about his award and paid tribute to late fashion designer and friend Nicholas Coutts who passed away in 2019.

It is important to note that African Fashion is finally receiving recognition for what it has been doing for years: innovating & making beautiful things, beyond beads and exotic prints. In this regard alone, Lukhanyo Mdingi’s recognition is entirely justified.

About the Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize

The esteemed jury for the 8th edition of the LVMH Prize consisted of Virgil Abloh, Jonathan Anderson, Marc Jacobs, Kim Jones, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Stella McCartney, Delphine Arnault, Sidney Teldano and Jean-Paul Claverie.

Lukhanyo Mdingi was awarded the Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize alongside US designer Colm Dillane of Kid Super and Shanghai-based designer Rui Zhou of Rui. Each receives a yearlong mentorship programme at the LVMH Group and 150 000 Euros (R2.5 million). This is first time the prize has been awarded to three different designers.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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