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THEBE MAGUGU is the winner of the LVMH Prize


PHOTO: ANTHONY BILA / COURTESY OF THEBE MAGUGU

The sixth edition of the LVMH Prize for Young designers ends with the triumph of South African designer Thebe Magugu. The 26-year-old designer won €300,000 and a year in a mentoring program in LVMH to continue his career.


With regard to this victory, Louis Vuitton Vice President Delphine Arnault said: “I am happy that, for the first time, an African candidate has won the prize, especially since Thebe Magugu is the youngest designer of the 2019 selection.”



PHOTO: AART VERRIPS / COURTESY OF THEBE MAGUGU


Born in the small town of Kimberly in Johannesburg, Thebe founded its brand three years ago, after studying fashion design, fashion photography and fashion media at LISOF and have gained experience with some names in the world of fashion and retail. Its captivating design conveys the South African tradition and culture through particular and complex motifs, through which he tries to convey the female body and its multiple facets.



PHOTO: AART VERRIPS / COURTESY OF THEBE MAGUGU

“I think in art, certain movements stem from times of suffering, because art allows people to deal with traumas in a proactive and beautiful way.” The designer told in an interview for Vogue World. “That’s what I do with my clothes. I tend to look at South Africa through this lens and ask how I can turn all of this pain on its head”.



PHOTO: AART VERRIPS / COURTESY OF THEBE MAGUGU

Through his collections, whose titles are inspired by school subjects, Thebe faces a different theme each time, exploring its roots and meanings and then making them his own and showing them to the world through its own creative vision. A recurring theme is the image of South African women. In this sense, his latest two collections are very emblematic; “Homme Economics AW18” and “gender Studies SS18” faced in a different but complementary way the strength and vulnerability, two constants that coexist in the female soul. In this sense, Magugu’s clothes come into play to emphasize these two forces.



PHOTO: THEBE MAGUGU / COURTESY OF THEBE MAGUGU

And it is indeed by explaining this creative process behind his brand that Magugu says: “together with our pillar values of quality, novelty and culture, we constantly seek new ways of presenting women with clothing that both complies with and enhances the everyday. Sleek, forward-looking design intersects with motifs from our continent’s storied past, providing smart, multifaceted clothes as valuable as their woman”.


words Ludovica Mucci


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