Rich Mnisi, is a South African fashion designer and the creative director of his contemporary & multi-disciplinary fashion brand RICH MNISI. Founded in 2014, this household fashion brand has cultivated colossally over these past seven years into now being a high-end ready to wear fashion brand that prides itself in celebrating heritage, culture along side common human experiences.
RICH MNISI has produced a number of collections and collaborations over the years that are just continuously pleasing to the eye. I want to delve into his latest collection and it’s primary inspirations, the spring/summer 2022 collection titled Mafamba Yexe (which translates to the one who walks alone) that debuted at Milan Fashion Week. This collection is heavily inspired by Mbombo, known primarily as Bumba, the African creator God of vomit in the religion and mythology of the Kuba people of Central Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Bushongo/Boshongo.
Mbombo, or Bumba as he is called in the Boshongo tradition, is said to be a giant white-coloured figure who had been ill for millions of years. The reason for his illness was his incurable loneliness. One mysterious day, Mbombo vomited due to the stomach discomfort he has been experiencing over the past million of years and through the vomit he produced the sun creating light and day. This caused the water to dry which created land. Mbombo threw up for the second time and created the moon and the stars which divided day and night. Bumba’s discomfort and mostly his vomit are seen as inspiration turned into “action” through the colours and prints used in the collection.
“This collection, Mafamba Yexe, finds its inspiration in a microscopic view of Bumba’s purge, made up of cells that, like so many others, split apart to multiply. Pain on the outside, pain on the inside, discomfort everywhere. From that discomfort, cells made echoes of their own likeness, and Bumba birthed the whole world. In every world, microscopic and universal, discomfort was the channel from loneliness to community. From strangeness to connection, to reflection and eventually, to self-discovery.” – Rich Mnisi
Styling by Peter Georgiades with Disco Creatives for Rich Mnisi’s new Mafamba Yexe SS 22 Collection
Creative Direction by Rich Mnisi
Director of Photography Ross Hillier
Focus Puller Ashley Smit
Make-up & Hair Justine Alexander
Produced by Bradley Ndlovu
Production Designer Mike Hillier & Rich Mnisi
Stylist Peter Georgiades with Disco Creatives
Edit Ross Hillier
Grade Kyle Stroebel
Sound Design David Houston
Location Scout Mike Hillier
Music Que DJ – Mnisi Chant