For 26-year-old South African fashion designer, Thebe Magugu, creating women’s clothes goes beyond exceptional tailoring and the push to stay relevant. The Johannesburg-based creative, born in Kimberely, is determined to shift global perceptions of South African identity, through his designs.
Magugu is well on his way to achieving that, as he was announced the winner of this year’s LVMH Prize, a reward aimed at supporting growing fashion designers. The winner receives €300,000 (an estimated ₦120.3m) and enjoys a one-year mentorship programme the LVMH Group.
Speaking on this tremendous win, Magugu said, “I have processed what I can so far but still fear that I might wake from this dream. I am so humbled to be awarded the LVMH Prize 2019, determined by an exceptional and endlessly inspiring jury.”
The designer also opened up about his long-term goals for the brand and his work. “My mission as a designer is to build a global fashion brand that is based in and sustains itself within the country, acting as a sort of sanctuary women can turn to for not only beautiful and functional clothes, but a place to learn about our culture and heritage, reinterpreted through a modern lens.”
Amongst the 2019 finalists were Kenneth Izedonmwen (Nigeria), Hed Mayner (Israel) and Bethany Williams (UK).