INTERVIEW: South African Designer, Rich Mnisi Opens-Up on Beyoncé and New Collaboration

South African luxury clothing designer Rich Mnisi has become one the biggest voices in the local fashion scene.

His signature polo neck sweaters have become a hotly sought-after item in any fashinsta/to’s wardrobe.

We spoke to Rich about rise of local luxury fashion brands, Beyoncé wearing his clothes during her trip to South Africa for the Global Citizen Concert in 2018 and his latest collaboration with Johnnie Walker Whisky.

Why do you think South Africans have started to gravitate towards local luxury designer brands?

The market has always been there. I think what we are seeing now is growth and visibility of our local brands.

Why do you it’s important for SA to have local luxury brands?

I think it is important for South Africans to see themselves as they see rest of the world, we are capable of anything. This includes designing & producing quality luxury brands.

What do you think the future holds for fashion weeks with the Covid-19 pandemic?

It is up to the industry to adapt, find innovative ways to reach people and to continue existing.

Rich Mnisi brand has become one of the most well-known brands in the country. Why do you think people have gravitated towards your clothes so much?

I think the growth of the brand has been gradual. Over the past five years we’ve been building; showcasing at local & international fashion shows, collaborating with local and international brands & campaigns. It is great to be finally be a part of the local conversation, to be embraced and celebrated by South Africans.

With Beyoncé coming for our edges again soon, Queen Bey wore some of your clothes while she was here during Global Citizen two years ago. What was that experience like and how did it come about?

We received an enquiry from her team asking for pieces, which we shared and months later, we had forgotten all about it and then there she was in the RICH MNISI Rhundzu blouse and Crocodile half-pleat skirt! I was so pleased and excited, it was such a beautiful affirming moment for myself and the brand.

Speaking about his latest collaboration with Johnnie Walker Whisky, Rich said: “I think brands do a lot of advertising and shouting at consumers but very few listen, the reception to the range was amazing and so we are even more excited to extend it to more South Africans thanks to Johnnie Walker.”

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