Durban designer dresses the stars

Starting in the industry in 2012, he has grown quickly and dressed some of South Africa’s who’s who such as Somizi Mhlongo, Thando Thabethe and Kyle Deutsch.

Some of his career highlights include being selected to go to Milan, Italy, for an internship.

Mkhize recently showcased his designs at SA Fashion Week in Johannesburg. His spring and summer collection, titled Dawn, is a special dedication to Africanism and anti-xenophobia.

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Mxolisi Mkhize's clothing line, House of St Luke, displayed its spring and summer fashion collection at SA Fashion Week. Pictures: SA Fashion WeekDesigner Mxolisi Mkhize dressing model Lunga Mlandu at SA Menswear Week.

I spoke to him about his journey and latest showcase.

What’s it like being in the fashion industry?

It’s challenging and also fabulous because of the glitz and glamour. It’s difficult having to remain relevant, making sure you are always ahead and attempting to be equally good or better than other designers. It’s a struggle for relevance and profit.

What was the biggest inspiration behind your collection Dawn?

The Zulu saying “Kuba mnyama kakhulu umasekuzosa”, meaning it gets darker before dawn, was the inspiration. Having being touched by racism, xenophobia, homophobia, hunger and tribalism, Dawn was a prayer for brighter and better days, days where the sun shines and everything is better.

What kind of feedback did you get?

I got a standing ovation and the support from Durbanites was overwhelming. The feedback from the media, artists, celebrities and bloggers has been great. They loved the colour palette, garments and music selection. The pieces have been said to be commercial. I am happy with the feedback.

How would you describe your brand?

It’s tailored, eclectic and bold.

Describe the House of St Luke customer.

A comfortable, confident and bold individual who has disposable income. An individual who is not afraid of being looked at or making a statement.

If you could have any celebrity or model wear your designs, who would it be?

I have had Nomzamo Mbatha as a client and friend for years. I love her and I love her brand. Definitely Nomzamo Mbatha for females and Maps Maponyane for the males.

Do you feel there’s a significant interest in local designers?

Yes. We have young, edgy, crazy, super-talented and futuristic new talent definitely what the fashion industry has been looking for. We are in a fashion-revolution era. We’re seeing genderless and apocalyptic fashion.

What helps you get into the zone when you’re designing?

Good music, wine and adrenalin.

Where can one buy your clothing?

30 on Marriott Road Designer Boutique in Durban.

lConnect with Mxolisi Mkhize on Instagram @mxolisiluke and Facebook House of Saint Luke.

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