LVMH 2019 prize finalist (& Winner): Thebe Magugu

thebe magugu

Born in the humble city of Kimberly, the capital and largest city of the Northern Cape province of South Africa, 26 year old Thebe Magugu is a LVMH prize finalist and 2019 winner of the International Fashion Showcase held in London earlier this year.

With his fashion design career only being 4 years young, Magugu is well on his way to the top.

Here’s what you need to know about the South African designer:

  1. Back at school, he created a 100-page bookzine called Little Black Book, a collage of personal studies and reflections, and a thought-provoking window into the South African youth, featuring childhood friends, fellow designer Tsepo Tsotetsi, photographer Trevor Stuurman, and R&B artist Lucille Slade.
  2. He went on to study at the prestigious school of fashion LISOF where he also learnt the discipline of fashion media as well as photography.
  3. Yasmin Furmie was his first-ever client; she bought a coat from his graduate collection, “Pattern Making”.
  4. After graduation in 2015 an internship with Woolworths taught him about the business and technical side of fashion. He has since with his namesake brake collaborated with the retail store on the Style SA project.
  5. Each collection is named after a university course such as Geology and Home Economics.
  6. As a child growing up he had nightmares. His mother would tell him to record them in a journal which he later incorporated into his work.
  7. Magugu joined forces with other South African creatives Lelo Meslani and Amy Zama and art directors Abi and Claire Meekel to create “Faculty Press”. He describes it as “a zine dedicated to capturing key moments, ideas, and thoughts from the emerging voices that engage with and move our cultural landscape forward. It is a take on a school yearbook, spotlighting the breadth of young South African talent by presenting its many contributors — like the musicians Fela Gucci and Desire Marea of Faka, activist Lady Skollie and photographer Travys Owen.
  8. With the values of quality, novelty, and culture as the pillars of the brand, Thebe Magugu is constantly looking for new ways of presenting women with clothing that enhance everyday sleek, forward-thinking designs
  9. The new collection, titled African Studies, is about merging motifs and prints from his heritage with forward-looking and modern shapes.
  10. While he takes pride in the fact that his collections reflect his heritage, and that everything is designed and manufactured in Johannesburg, his ultimate aim, he says, is “to create an African brand with truly international implications.”

Plus…here is what at Yasmin Furmie had to say..

From the minute I caught sight of Thebe’s first collection , I knew South Africa had a unique and very talented designer in the making . What stood out for me was the thought process that went into producing his collection . The clothes were never incidental but rather integral to that deep interrogation of his circumstances . I’ve always said that he tells a personal story and as we know the personal is political . His collections are layered with the zeitgeist of South Africa and it’s deeply complex narrative. A more focused , kind , talented person you can’t meet. All the best to him and I have a feeling that he’s the winner of the prize .

Yasmin Furmie

The Collections

SS17- Geology

SS18- Gender studies

AW18- Home economics

AW19- Art History

SS19- African Studies

Read more on Thebe Magugu’s break out year here

Thebe Magugu’s capsule collection is now available at 24 SEVRES in Paris. SHOP key pieces from his collections “African Studies” and “Art History” here

Edited: to include Winner of the 2019 LVMHprize

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