A designer at the very forefront of African fashion, Rich Mnisi founded his eponymous label in 2015. Born in Kempton Park, Johannesburg in 1991, he graduated from LISOF School of Fashion in 2014 and was named Africa Fashion International Young Designer of the Year at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa that same year.
Widely heralded for his fusion of contemporary pop culture and traditional African heritage, Rich’s designs infuse his own personal narrative into extremist yet minimalist structures. He works across genders, seasons, geographical lines and creative disciplines, with a twin devotion to craftsmanship and experimentation.
His work has made international headlines in media outlets such as Dazed and Confused, i-D, Vice, VOGUE Italia, WWD and Sunday Times. He draws influences from film, music and photography, and he frequently art directs editorial and campaign shoots.
Rich made his furniture debut with two pieces for Southern Guild in 2018: the Nwa-Mulamula (his late great-grandmother’s name in XiTsonga) chaise and stool. These organic-shaped pieces are an extension of his NwaMulamula fashion collection – a homage to the memory of his late great-grand mother, an ever-present guardian whose teachings have lived on in his family through storytelling generation after generation.
The upholstered organic-shaped chaise and bronze tear-shaped stool were commissioned by Southern Guild for a group show of multidisciplinary artists, titled Extra Ordinary. The designer will be featured again in a second group show later this year.