EPISODE 2: Mdingi Coutts – Cape Town, South Africa
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Designers Nicholas Coutts and Lukhanyo Mgingi

Lukhanyo Mdingi and Nicholas Coutts are South African designers based in Cape Town, who collaborated for the MDINGI COUTTS A/W17 TACTILE Collection.

The MDINGI COUTTS A/W17 TACTILE Collection was showcased at the Generation Africa show produced by Pitti Immagine and the Ethical Fashion Initiative.  With Coutts’s distinct weaving technique and Mdingi’s traditionalist approach to minimalism and classic basics; the two used Africa’s natural landscape as a means to conceptualize the overall aesthetic of the collection. We showcased these looks in three different South African landscapes, from a barren desert to a lush mountainside on models Gandhi Mukiza and Yannick Konan.

Nicholas Coutts’ signature is creating garments that are textured and uses fabrication to create a pleasing contrasting visual. Influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement and his craft oriented mother, Coutts specializes in using handwoven fabrics and hand knitted items. He studied Fashion Design at the Academy of Fashion in Cape Town and graduated in 2013. The same year he won the ELLE Rising Star Design Award which catapulted him into the South African fashion industry.

Lukhanyo Mdingi creates minimal looks that are distinct and powerful, with a flare of contemporary elegance and sophistication. He studied Fashion Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, from which he graduated in 2014. Lukhanyo Mdingi was a finalist of the 2013 ELLE Rising Star Competition.

Together, they share the ethical mission to support each other and other local emerging designers to build a sustainable collective. This support will allow designers access to a wider range of textiles, better machinery, and even outlets in which to sell their collections, which would enable emerging designers to compete with the fast fashion market that is invading South Africa. 

Special Thanks to:

Commissioned Knitted Bags and Jewellery – Krafthaus
Classic Leather Belts – Ilundi


ETHETICS EPISODE 2: MDINGI COUTTS premiered at the BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival and premiered online at Vogue Italia. It won Best Documentary at Panama Fashion Film Festival, Best Designer/Brand at Fashion Film Festival Milano (also nominated for Best Documentary), Best Styling at Mexico Fashion Film Festival, and Best Cinematography at the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa Fashion Film Festival, where it was also nominated for Best Fashion and Best Documentary. It was also nominated for Best Fashion Documentary at the London Fashion Film Festival, was shortlisted for Best Film from US/Canada at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival. and nominated for Best Director at Porto Fashion Film Festival. It is an Official Selection of the New York Fashion Film Festival, Fashion Film Festival Milano, Canada International Fashion Film Festival, Copenhagen Fashion Film Festival, Fashion Film Festival Istanbul, Miami Fashion Film Festival, and FASHIONCLASH Fashion Film Festival 2017. It was also invited to screen at the Academy Award-qualifying Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia in Japan.