Mxolisi Luke Mkhize ,Durban based fashion designer. With a BSocSci degree from UKZN Howard College. Self taught , well that is not entirely true , my colleague and best friend Sandile Mlambo of House of Alfalfa and Nelly Masinga taught me all the tricks of the trade. I have showed at the Dbn Fashion Fair , which gave me exposure and also took me to do my Fashion Internship in Milan Italy 2012/2013 House of Saint Luke is my baby , I now am a strong believer in following your passion and also investing all your energy to what you genuinely love and also reaping the fruits of your hard work. Self employment is difficult because obviously one does not have a stable income. But we strive none the less.We won best menswear collection at the 2015 Durban Fashion Fair. Which gave us ao much publicity and in turn alot of business and clients.
Are you a self taught designer and you went through formal education?
I am a self taught Designer; I have not received any formal education or schooling
Why did you choose to specifically do menswear?
After a conversation I had with Sim Shabalala and a friend Emile Dlamini they advised me to focus on Menswear they showed how my stretch was menswear and how my brand can do better if I were to focus on strictly menswear. I had something different to offer in the menswear department, my style which was bold and eclectic would do well in the market, especially in DBN, and they were NOT wrong
How did you come up with the name HSL?
House of Saint Luke,
House (An Umbrella that mot only accommodates fashion design , but as well as fashion styling, retail support, Events and as well as a Funeral Palour) which has been one of my ultimate dreams for years.
Saint (Comes from the biblical context) most people used to call me a saint, saying I was too good to friends and people in general.
Luke (Also coming from the biblical context, “St Luke” because my second name is Lucas)
You have been involved with dff since 2012, what impact has DFF had in your career?
A huge impact, it has taught me to take myself seriously, to push my brand and live “The” brand. It has proven to me that a passion can be turned into a lucrative and successful business. DFF has given me media milage that I never even have dreamed I would receive, from TV to Magazines to Newspaper’s and Radio, which in turn obviously worked positively for my business. It has given me a platform and made my brand footprint very visible
Tell us about your involvement with GQ menswear competition at SAFW
I applied for The Scouting Menswear competition for SA Fashion Week in Associattion with GQ Magazine , I made it to the Top 12 in SA and then to the top 6 showcasing finalists. The finalists got to be featured on the GQ Website and some pieces from the collection on the actual Magazine.
What inspired your collection at SAFW?
The Inspiration was the concept of Serendipity
I used some suiting fabrics , I used some brocade , apolstery , curtaining , TShirt Knitts , Geogette and Cotton. Models wore “Headwraps) We were doing Spring/Summer 2016 , A Turban is not necessarily for fashion , but because it has alot of significance in the life of Indians and Muslims , the Turban is also called a Pagri initially tied to keep the head cool, a way to escape from the blazing heat and sun. The head wrap was usually soaked in water over night and tied in the morning. Those who use it traditionally feel naked without it. I design for a bold man , confident, Metrosexual , learnered and well travelled and well read. This collection was something new to me , it was out of my comfort zone. I usually love making suits and tailored garments and with this collection i was trying to interpret my type of Luxe Streetwear. So it symbolised growth and tapping into a new world
Have you dressed any celebrities? If so who and when? Please share pics with us
I have dressed Nomzamo Mbatha , I have dressed Khaya “GC” Dladla , Nompilo Maphumulo , Mzokoloko (Gagasi FM) , Zaba (East Coast Radio) Dawn Thandeka King , DJ Tira , Somizi Mhlongo , Shekinnah and Kyle Duetshman, Khanya Mkhangisa , Nay Maps Maphumulo and Dream Team
DFF Is around the corner, we look forward to seeing your collection. What is will inspire your collection this year?
Apocalyptic, Vampires, Villains and Darkness It’s called (Sombre Opulence)
What can your fans look forward to?
ALL BLACK EVERYTHING!!!
Where do you see SA fashion compared globally
Menswear in South Africa has been some how neglected because basically a man has always seen wearing a suit or jacket and pants etc etc and now we see a shift where menswear has its own dedicated slot in fashion weeks and now we live in a world of Metrosexuals where men go all out and pay particular attention to what they are seen wearing. I see men moving towards a trend called “Girling” abit ambidextrous and slightly girly . “Genderless Fashion” Also the futuristic trend more apocalyptic in a sense. Our South African prints and Bold colours and Beads are making a HUUUUUGE impact and hit internationally
What are your plans in the next 5yrs?
A boutique, a funeral Palour, showcasing at all major fashion weeks globally and of course starting a fashion initiative that will benefit youngsters in and around the community I grew up in, which is Umlazi Township