He won the Karl Lagerfeld Prize at the LVMH Awards.

South African designers are proving that they can compete on the international stage. Cape Town’s very own Lukhanyo Mdingi is the perfect example of this statement after he won one of the most prestigious awards in the fashion industry.

The local designer was first nominated as one of the top 20 finalists in the LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) Prize of 2021 back in March. The judging panel included the likes of Virgil Abloh, Stella McCartney, Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs.

Now, Mdingi has walked away as the joint winner of the Karl Lagerfeld Prize at this awards ceremony.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lukhanyo Mdingi (@lukhanyomdingi)

Fashion experts have praised Mdingi for this accolade, saying it is well-deserved because his work deserves a spot among top brands. The designer, known for creating meticulously made pieces and collaborating with artisans, shares the prize with KidSuper and China’s Rui Zhou.

This year marked the first time that LVMH announced three winners of the Karl Lagerfeld Prize, which clearly indicates the stiff competition among the finalists.

“We’re thrilled to announce that, for the first time, ever we have three winners of this year’s 2021 Karl Lagerfeld Prize, and they are the very talented designers @kidsuper, @lukhanyomdingi, and @ruiofficial.me,” they said on Instagram.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The judging panel specifically mentioned that Mdingi’s commitment to sustainability is what won their hearts. Mdingi spends labour-intensive hours working on his garments, injecting his passion for his work into every small detail.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lukhanyo Mdingi (@lukhanyomdingi)

As part of the prize, Mdingi and the other two winners will walk away with an equal share of €150 000 and a year’s worth of mentorship, which will help them elevate their brands to the next level.