RICH MNISI JAMES FW22

Along with its accompanying fashion film, the latest offering from designer Rich Mnisi examines the practice of giving children English names in black communities. In a time in South Africa’s past when so few options were available to them, black parents from various backgrounds chose names that represented a new set of futures. They hoped to pass down, more than their dreams, the opportunity to rise above discrimination and pursue them. “My sister’s name is Memory and it’s a literal interpretation of [being named for] the memory of my late grandmother. My mother’s name is Daisy, because she was meant to blossom into this great woman,” says Mnisi of the collection he’s named for his late grandfather. James’ four capsules explore life’s possibilities, led by the names we are given: Precious, Promise, Ambition and Desire could be any of us, set on a path by our circumstances, trying to live up to everything we are told we carry. James blends the smooth yet varied textures of lace, nylon and knitted mohair with prints, peeking mesh, and ribbon closures in Mnisi’s striking, signature silhouettes. In stark, abstract black & white with a few splashes of colour, Mnisi paints a beautiful reflective picture of where a name can lead us.