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#DesignMonth: That Rich Mnisi style

Rich Mnisi only graduated in 2014, but has already made a name for himself as a ground-breaking fashion designer, winning many prestigious awards and appearing on many hot-young-things lists. We got in touch with him for Bizcommunity's Design Month to chat about style and success.
#DesignMonth: That Rich Mnisi style

You graduated only two years ago and have already made somewhat of a name for yourself. Could you explain the journey involved to get where you are now?

Lots of building oneself, even when things seem like they will never work out, that's what has kept me and the brand still alive. Passion, of course, counts as well, because without it I'd never be able to convince myself of the reason to keep going. Making the right connections with people who understand why you're doing what you're doing and what it is that you're doing exclusively.

You have received many awards and accolades throughout your career. What have been some of your professional highlights?

There are so many highlights for me - every little improvement is a highlight. I don't say this to sound humble, but because as a new brand when anyone notices your work you celebrate because your efforts are being recognised and someone has digested your messaging. I mean, how do you separate being awarded Young Designer of the Year to being featured on ID magazine online, to participating at Design Indaba as one of the young creatives to watch? I appreciate them all.

What is the general process when it comes to taking a design from conceptualisation to completion?

Doing research, looking at every possible detail that affects the interpretation of the story, from colour to embellishment, internal structure and general culture. After this the clothes then start to take form.

#DesignMonth: That Rich Mnisi style

What are your top-five fashion trends for 2016?

Casualism, Femininity, Embroidery & Embellishment, Disregard for Expected Proportions and Craft.

If you had to describe your mind or thought processes in terms of a design or artwork, what would it look like?

A KAWS painting, there's a lot happening, but it all comes together to stand for something, with a little humour.

#DesignMonth: That Rich Mnisi style

What are your thoughts on our local creative scene? Which local designers, artists and creatives are you inspired by?

There is a lot of great energy in the industry right now and that's a good thing, because everyone has something to add to it and we feed off of each other's energies and ideas. Design and/or the creative space is always collaborative, no one does their own thing without someone else extending on that conversation. From music to visual arts to fashion, there's a lot of good work. Designers like Thebe Magugu are building a new voice that allows for the whole industry to reshape its focus and there's many more in other industries doing the same.

If you had to describe your personal style as a song or song lyric what would it be and why?

Marina and the Diamonds - Blue.

#DesignMonth: That Rich Mnisi style

What are your grand plans for 2016?

To live further within the brand, get better and see where this year takes us. We want to do more work that ends up on the public scene, so relaunching the online store is also one of our goals for this year.

www.richmnisi.com

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