South African fashion designer Rich Mnisi has had a very productive year to say the least, touted as of the few African designers who has capitalize on the strategy of collaborations. Although the year was rather much characterized by the global pandemic it was offset by some positives, where creatives were forced to innovate and collaborate. Rich Mnisi is testament to what can be achieved when following through with a glass-is-half-full attitude. Aside from launching his premium range of Swarovski-embellished masks during the hard lockdown, in October, he partnered with singer-songwriter, Josh Middleton, for an exclusive photo shoot.
On thriving in a time when the challenges seemed insurmountable for many, Mnisi said via his Instagram page
“The lockdown has indeed been a difficult time but it has also afforded me the opportunity to pause and dedicate time to a deep-dive exploration of my heritage and to produce a heartfelt love letter to the VaTsonga people through my Hiya Kaya SS21 collection.
“The collection pays homage to my heritage, while specifically celebrating its women and the powerful role they have played throughout history and to this day. I have always escaped to my art, especially during the most difficult times, and this lockdown period has been no different.”
The Spring/Summer 2021 collection which Rich recently debuted has a perfect blend of African and Western aesthetics to them setting the mood of summer which promises to see lots of bold colors taking center stages next year, we bet you would love every piece from the Hiya Kaya collection as it is very much relatable to home, there is a more relaxed feel when you see the dress and there are so many options and places one can think of wearing this collection to.
According to a statement by Rich Mnisi, here is what he had to say about the SS21 HIYA KAYA COLLECTION
This season we celebrate the VaTsonga tribe and shine a light on its rich cultural heritage. Our collection is not only a celebration of the tribe, but specifically her women. The collection is a call-to-action for the protection of women, especially our mothers. The collection pays homage to our Creative Director – Rich Mnisi’s – heritage and is a heart-felt love letter to the VaTsonga people.
In a film shot in Louis Trichardt (Limpopo), Hole In the Wall (Eastern Cape) & Llandudno (Western Cape) we invite you on this journey with us, we ask that you close your eyes and imagine the sounds made by a people who boast many multi-disciplinary talents ranging from singing without a conductor, composing songs without notes, and excelling in cultural dance without choreography.
Open your eyes and be transported to a scene in a Tsonga village, where the women are throngs of a recital of their world-renowned twist dance – a dance which involves vigorous pelvis gyrations driven by core strength and stamina.
In a timeless celebration of the majestic VaTsonga female form, the Hiya Kaya SS21 collection is truly a testament to her beauty, power, resilience, and fortitude. Her essence has finally been brought to the light, for the world to marvel and draw inspiration. We are honoured to have been entrusted to tell her story through wearable art.
Models: Jenyo Johnson, Catherine Correa, Noelle Graobe, Collins Onyejekewe
Director: Ricardo Simal
Creative Director: Rich Mnisi
Director of Photography: Ross Hillier
Editor: Ross Hillier
Camera Operator: Ashley Smit
Producer :Neo Chabedi
Photography Assistants: Darhoyi Gxala, Ngeleni Mkhezeni, Ntonya Mcebisi Mkhamndeli
Sound Design: David Houston
Grading: Kyle Stroebel
Music: Jungle Beats – Dj Lag Kona – Sho Madjozi
Make-up: Tammi Mbambo Limpopo
Location Scout :Phamela Nkondo
Dancers Casting Director: Phamela Nkondo
Weaver :Nowayiles Ntonya
Choreographer: Tinyiko Hilary Khoza
Dancers: Tinyiko Hilary Khoza l, Fiona Nyiko Tembe ,Ndzalama Dancy Khosa ,Ntsako Pride Mashele ,Vuthlarhi Life Mashele , Rivoningo Marcia Maruping
Earrings: Lorne Jewellery
Clothing Jewellery: Lorne Jewellery x Rich Mnisi