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SA designer Lukhanyo Mdingi wins Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize

Image: @lukhanyomdingi/Instagram
Image: @lukhanyomdingi/Instagram

Breaking fashion news! As if any more confirmation was needed that South African designers are taking over the world, East London-born designer Lukhanyo Mdingi has just won the prestigious LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Prize.

The award ceremony took place this afternoon in Paris, at the Foundation Louis Vuitton and the winners were announced on Instagram.

LVMH is a multinational French holding corporation specialising in luxury goods. Every year, they award top fashion designers for their talent and outstanding creativity.

The winner of the LVMH prize receives a 300 000-euro grant and personalised assistance in the development of their company.

In addition, the company also awards the Karl Lagerfeld prize to top young designers from across the globe - now one of the most coveted prizes to receive as a young designer. The winner receives 150 000-euro allocation and a 1-year mentorship programme.

This year, for the first time ever, the Karl Lagerfeld Prize has been awarded to three different designers - Lukhanyo Mdingi being one of them. He shares the prize with fellow brands Kid Super from New York and Rui Zhou from China.

After a gruelling judging and voting process, made up of a panel of 66 international experts and over 32 000 public voters, 1900 applicants were whittled down to 20 semi-finalists, and then 8 finalists in April this year.

Albania designer Nensi Dojaka won the LVMH grand Prize for Young Designers.

Lukhanyo is known for creating meticulously-made pieces and collaborating with local artisans and communities. He’s design aesthetic is about a “disciplined order fused with an organic structure.”

His win marks a phenomenal run for South African fashion talent. Fellow SA designer Thebe Magugu was the LVMH prize winner in 2019 while Sindiso Khumalo was one of the winners in 2020.

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