On the 18th of February, the French Institute of South Africa will host a discussion around fashion sustainability with esteemed fashion designers Lukhanyo Mdingi and David Sher, and four burgeoning South African talents. The panel discussion will be surrounded by the creations which were made by the four mentees, during the True Fashion mentorship program, followed by music.
The participants will be unpacking the fashion of tomorrow in the face of the challenges of “fast fashion” and the impact of the textile industry on the environment. The designers will discuss the importance of collaboration and mentorship in nurturing sustainable practices, as well as sharing their individual journeys and challenges. The discussion will be balanced between Mdingi’s experience, who began his eponymous label in 2015 and is a recent recipient of the coveted Karl Lagerfeld Prize, and Sher, the co-founder of Good Good Good, a brand that elevates modern streetwear using ethically sourced fabrics, and the fresh outlook of up-and-coming “mentees” in the industry.
Over the past two years, the French Institute of South Africa conceived and developed a mentoring program dedicated to ethical fashion called “True fashion”, implemented respectively in 2021 with the Goethe Institute for the first season, and in 2022 with the alternative fashion school Casa 93 in Paris, with the support of the Institut Français and the City of Paris for the second edition. This “tailor-made” program for five young South African fashion designers in 2021 and two young South African designers and two students from Casa 93 in 2022, aimed to consider a more engaged approach to creation.
The first season saw the young designers participate in a week of group and individual workshops in Johannesburg accompanied by seasoned fashion mentors. At a later stage there was a professional photoshoot in Cape Town, directed by Lukhanyo Mdingi and showcased in Glamour Magazine.
“True Fashion” season 2 had a new format: a multi-cultural pairing of four mentees, guided by mentors around two countries, working on two outfits and culminating in a show at Paris Fashion Week, as part of Casa 93’s graduate fashion show titled CARJACK. The aim was to ignite an international exchange around mohair, of which 60% of the world’s production comes from South Africa.