CPUT fashion graduate Lukhanyo Mdingi seems to have his career all sewn up. He was recently selected as one of Design Indaba’s Emerging Creatives and was already earmarked through his studies as a talent to watch. We caught up with the rising star to discuss his first year in industry.
You were pretty much the talk of the town throughout your studies. Name some of the exciting awards and commendations you have received through your studies and afterwards?
Oh wow, I have no idea. To me my biggest achievement was completing both my under-grad and post-grad years in record time. The other achievements while still in CPUT has to be when I was selected as one of the top 8 finalists for the 2013 ELLE in association with Mr Price – Rising Star Competition, this took place when I was in my 3rd Year.
Design Indaba Young Creatives is the latest notch on your belt. What do all these awards actually mean to your career at the end of the day?
It’s very gratifying but even more so, it means that I have the opportunity to learn more about the South African fashion industry and as well as use these platforms to expand the Lukhanyo Mdingi brand.
In a nutshell where are you from and why did you chose CPUT?
I am from a small town in the Eastern Cape – East London. I chose CPUT purely because of its credentials, access to equipment and software as well as affordability.
How do you think the institution prepared you for the rigours of industry?
I think this differs for each individual fashion design graduate, purely because you are able to go into so many different fields of fashion with the Diploma/Degree , it has prepped me extremely well with garment construction knowledge and range/concept building and planning.
Do you have a muse?
I would have to say South African Artist, Athi Patra. He oozes sophistication.
2015 has just kicked off, what is the plan for the year?
To be honest I’m a short term planner, right now it’s all about production and building my brand.
Would you ever be absorbed into someone else brand for a few years or are you intent on building your own right now?
I would love to do both. I don’t want to ever constrain myself. I believe you have to be very tactical about these decisions, identifying what will be best for you as the designer and making sure your integrity isn’t compromised.
Where can people follow you on social media?
Instagram and Twitter both @lukhanyomdingi / Lukhanyo Mdingi