The year in fashion
We saw the rise of a fabulous young crop of fashion talent in 2015, but Rich Mnisi was #Trending’s brightest new star. He spoke to Gugulethu Mhlungu
Rich Mnisi has had a really good couple of years. In 2013, he won best ready-to-wear collection at the Lisof graduate fashion show, and an award for best fashion media student. Last year, he was one of the winners at MercedesBenz Fashion Week Joburg AFI Fastrack, and was also awarded the AFI Young Designer of the Year award at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa.
“It has indeed been a great year to learn, experiment and progress simultaneously,” he tells me.
“That’s what we had set out to do with 2015. Some of the highlights from this year include the opportunity to exhibit at Labo International in Paris, two successful shows at SA Menswear Week, participating in Design Indaba’s Young Creatives of 2015 showcase, designing a collection for Skip’s Fashion Exchange, and working with Kristin-Lee Moolman and Gabrielle Kannemeyer on a project for the brand that got amazing international recognition.
“We also changed the brand’s name from Oath Studio to Rich Mnisi, and this marks the beginning all over again for us.”
Mnisi’s garments are fresh, and have a heavy and funky sports luxe influence.
About his plans for next year, he says: “We’re excited to show at SA Menswear Week in the first week of February – that will be the first time that we showcase the brand under the Rich Mnisi name, so it ought to be interesting.”
Other notable young fashion talents from this year include Lukhanyo Mdingi, whose lookbook for his collection Taintless was lovely. He is making headlines as a new fashion talent.
Elle Rising Star winner for 2014 Tamara Cherie Dyson’s capsule collection for Mr Price was fresh, and will be wearable into the next season. The old guard shining in 2015
Marianne Fassler remains one of the top designers in the country. Her runway shows were some of the best we saw this year, and she continues to push the boundaries with African prints and colour. Her latest resort collection (with a lookbook styled by Mnisi) is a must-have.
Thula Sindi quietly slayed 2015 with the opening of the first standalone Thula Sindi store in The Zone @ Rosebank, as well as with his delicious 2015 ready-to-wear collection shown at the Durban Fashion Fair.
The TS brand has been in the ultraexclusive Hyde Park Luminance store for more than seven months and has recently been added to the Sandton Luminance store. The second stand-alone TS store in Klerksdorp is opening next month.
Gert-Johan Coetzee’s best work this year was with his bridal couture collection, and he dressed South Africa’s biggest stars, including Bonang Matheba and Minnie Dlamini.
His work was also recognised when he was named an SA Style Icon at this year’s SA Style Awards, where the unofficial face of his label (because they work so well together), Bonang, also scooped an SA Style Icon award in another nod to his work.
FABRIC FIRST Creations by (from left) Rich Mnisi, Tamara Cherie Dyson, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Thula Sindi