Next week, he will show his work at the South African Menswear Week in Cape Town’s City Hall from February 8 to 11.
He will be joined by two other Durban designers, Sandile Duke Mngadi and Athenkosi Mfungula, representing Durban at the national show.
“I studied industrial psychology at UKZN, but I realised it wasn’t for me.
“I knew that I really wanted to be in fashion and then signed up for a mentorship programme with the city, and that was how I learnt about the fashion industry,” said Mkhize, who owns the House of Saint Luke, in the Durban CBD.
Mkhize reached the semi-finals and top 9 in the first South African menswear competition at SA Fashion Week and won the best menswear collection at the 2015 and 2017 Durban Fashion Fair. In 2016, his work was featured in GQ magazine and made it to the top 6 menswear designers in South Africa in the GQ scouting menswear competition.
For the menswear fashion week, Mkhize said he drew his inspiration for the collection from the natural beauty of Namibia.
“I was in Namibia last year and was blown away by the desert dunes, the colours, and the people. I used the same tones in the collection and wanted my collection to be comfortable and functional,” he said, adding that there would be simple graphics on garments.
He said menswear was not as flexible as womenswear in terms of creativity, but he incorporated a play on classic tailoring with bold splashes.
“I want to bring a trend of tailored sportswear to the market. These are items that are sporty, yet at the same time, have the classic cuts and tailoring that makes the piece timeless.
“David Beckham does this well: he would pair suits with sneakers, and pull it off very well. The trend is not very formal. We are moving away from that.”
He advised men to keep their style classic because it was timeless.
“And keep a watch on fanny packs. They seem to be making waves and coming back into fashion. Use it instead of a man bag to keep your wallet or notes, lip balm and keys.”