Lukhanyo Mdingi has won the coveted Amiri Prize 2023, marking a significant milestone in his fashion career. This prestigious award has opened its doors to talented designers from all corners of the globe, making Mdingi’s win even more remarkable. Mdingi’s talent and unique approach to fashion set him apart from the other nine finalists, securing him a $100,000 USD grant and an exclusive one-year mentorship with renowned Los Angeles designer Mike Amiri, the visionary behind the Amiri Prize.
Born in South Africa in 1992, Lukhanyo Mdingi has always had a deep connection to his roots. He launched his own fashion line in Cape Town in 2015, and has since been a staunch supporter of local artisans, incorporating them into his creative process. The Amiri Prize’s generous grant and mentorship program provides Mdingi with a unique opportunity to further expand and develop his brand, solidifying his presence in the fashion industry.
Mike Amiri, Founder of the Amiri Prize, expressed his admiration for this year’s talent pool and highlighted the difficulty of choosing a winner. However, Mdingi’s unique vision and unwavering commitment to his community and culture stood out. Amiri noted, “His recent collections have seen him fine tune a singular aesthetic and sensibility, but just as commendable is the purpose behind what he does – for his wider community and culture – and this resonates with serious brand potential.”
Upon receiving the award, Mdingi expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Amiri Prize, the jury and Mike Amiri himself. He said, “We’re incredibly thankful to the Amiri Prize, its jury committee and Mike Amiri for the immeasurable opportunity extended to the Lukhanyo Mdingi label, we look forward to receiving the fundamental guidance needed to steadily grow our Independent Business & Vision.”
Mike Amiri established the Amiri Prize in 2021, with a vision to nurture and support the next wave of fashion creatives. The inaugural prize was awarded to Lou Badger of Philadelphia. After a brief hiatus last year, the competition made a triumphant return this year, expanding its reach to international talent.
The competition was fierce, with talent coming from different parts of the world. The other eight finalists included Abdel El Tayeb from France, Dorian Rahimzadeh from Iran, Ekwerike Chukwuma from Nigeria, and a strong representation from the United States with Grace Ling, Keith Herron and Maxwell Osborne. China’s Li Gong and Luke Zhou also made it to the final round, demonstrating the global appeal and diversity of the Amiri Prize.