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The winner of this year’s Amiri Prize is South African fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, who will receive $100,000 (about R1.9 million) and a year-long mentorship programme. The designer from Cape Town said he was proud of his entire team for the win.
Mdingi was one of nine finalists who competed for the prize, which brings with it a $100,000 grant and a yearlong mentorship with Mike Amiri, a Los Angeles designer who launched the prize in 2021.
The South African designer, who creates men’s and women’s fashions, said he was thankful for the opportunity to grow and extend his label. “We look forward to receiving the fundamental guidance needed to steadily grow our independent business and vision,” Mdingi said in a statement.
Mdingi was inspired by the street style and craftsmanship of Burkina Faso, where many of his clothes are made, for his spring 2023 collection, which debuted in Paris.
The Amiri Prize is an inclusive annual award and incubator established to encourage, nurture and showcase up-and-coming talent from fashion and fashion-adjacent fields that otherwise might not have their voices heard.
Mdingi is the third person to receive the prestigious award established by US fashion designer Mike Amiri. The Amiri Prize jury was looking for a designer with a strong commercial perspective as well as a strong creative profile who could make an impact in the US and the wider international market.
Lukhanyo Mdingi, Mdingi’s ready-to-wear label, was founded in 2015. Mdingi moved to Cape Town to study fashion design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology after growing up in East London.