Whether it’s Dior, Burberry, Gucci, Bulgari, Chanel, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs or Balmain, these are some of the high profile brands that come to mind when one speaks of Luxury Fashion. While renowned African designers such as Duro Olowu, David Tlale and Taibo Bacar have over the years, told the African Luxury Fashion story on global runways from New York, Milan and London, the story doesn’t end there. As the global interest in African fashion continues to rise, with more African inspired looks dominating global stages, the rise and recognition of these quality designers needs to be in proportion to that of the interest.
New kid on the block, RICH MNISI, a South African based contemporary fashion brand established in 2014, by founder, Rich Mnisi, is fast becoming one of the notable game changers shaping the SA fashion industry, and soon the African Luxury Fashion market. A Leaders in the Science of Fashion (LISOF) graduate and Africa Fashion International Young Designer of the Year 2014, Mnisi has positioned his brand with a global view while catering for an “aspirational” market. Known for its gender non-conformist aesthetic, the RICH MNISI brand has in its infancy, been featured in world-renowned publications such as Vogue Italia, L’Officiel Manila, WWD and i-D.
In 2016, Mnisi collaborated with media personality Maps Maponyane to create Neck: a collection inspired by the grace and strength of giraffes, which was subsequently featured in Italian Vogue. “AFI asked us to be part of their AFI Fastrack Evolve program and we had about 5 days to execute this. We started having conversations about the things that meant the most to us. Strength and grace were prominent themes, and that’s what we decided to explore. Maps has a great eye for clean menswear and I’m just a mess, so it all came together pretty well,” he exclusively told AFashionFriend.
His biggest achievement to date? Being named as one of Woolworths’ eight featured designers in the retail giant’s Style by SA campaign in partnership with SA Fashion Week. “Woolworths has afforded us the opportunity to access their consumers and all the trust that they’ve built with these consumers over time,” he revealed to Marie Claire.
Local fashion brand today, global luxury fashion brand tomorrow. Either way, the African Luxury Fashion industry is about to gain a star in this talent, and of course, our closets could use a little enRICHment.