Sustainable, Tactile Tribute to South African Designer Nicholas Coutts with Coutts’ Collection: NYFW

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By: Caitlyn Garrity / Feb. 10, 2021

Virtual fashion week leaves designers with the task to display their collections in unique and creative ways. Lukhanyo Mdingi’s fashion show for his new collection, Coutts’ Collection, presents itself through a simple, fashion-show style video.

South African Designer Lukhanyo Mdingi

The designer Lukhanyo Mdinigi from Cape Town, South Africa, is no stranger to New York Fashion Week. His label, established in 2015, has been shown on Vogue Italia and participated in events like the International Fashion Showcase Pitti Immagine Uomo, The British Fashion Council and NYFW. His collections often incorporate timeless and elegant pieces combined with rich colors and elements of South African culture.

Photo of Lukhanyo Mdingi wearing a white tee in front of a white backdrop
Photo via

The Show: Coutts’ Collection

The virtual show on Feb. 9, 2021, displayed models walking down an audience less runway, lit with flower-shaped lights. In collaboration with the Ethical Fashion Initiative, the collection features artisans that sustainably source and craft unique textiles with simplistic, yet modern clothing. According to Pitti Immagine Uomo, Mdingi’s goal is to “celebrate authentic narratives, according to a considered, sincere and mindful approach that allows achieving excellence and a timeless sensibility that is transcendent.”

The collection itself showed elements of simplicity and modern fashion with clean and modern streetwear-type pieces. However, Mdingi’s South African background incorporated itself into the textiles that he combined into each look. Deep reds, oranges and blues combined with unique and varying textures allowed for each look in the collection to have depth within its simplicity.

Photo of Coutts Collection piece with tapestry hung over streewear
Photo via @lukhanyomdingi on Instagram

Coutts’ Collection is named after the South African designer, Nicholas Coutts, that died in July of 2020. Passing at 28, Coutts was a promising young designer that left his impact on many established platforms. He won the ELLE Magazine Rising Star 2013 award and his work heavily incorporated woven and sustainable textiles, much like the pieces in the Coutts’ Collection. The line was inspired by the “genius and effervescence” tapestries Coutts hand-wove himself.”

Photo of Coutts Collection piece with woman wearing textured tapestry around her
Photo via @lukhanyomdingi on Instagram

Modern African streetwear combined with rich, flavorful textures of the tapestries makes the Coutts’ Collection a creative way to kickstart NYFW and a beautiful homage to a fellow South African designer. The virtual fashion show lacked spectators but it did not lack creative displays of art. The sustainable, ethical pieces shown were a reflection of the cultural artistry of Mdinigi, and the involvement of skillful textures allowed for Coutts’ impact on fashion to live on.


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Sustainable, Tactile Tribute to South African Designer Nicholas Coutts with Coutts’ Collection: NYFW