Thebe Magugu won the LVMH prize last year with his collection that was inspired both by his mother and his home country of Africa. This season he continues with these inspirations and included a photo exhibition entitled Ipopeng Ext, named after the township in which he grew up. The photos were created by South African photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman and Sierra Leone–born stylist Ib Kamara and featured Magugu’s community alongside models wearing the clothes. They showed the city as he sees it and through this we discover what shaped him: community, faith and family.
The collection has sharp tailoring offset by pale colors and more feminine details like a lace panel inserted into the sleeve of a white button down. Personal inspiration like his grandmother’s kitchen tablecloth print is transformed into a pattern on a trench coat and an image of the corrugated metal roof of his aunt’s house was turned into a print.
Magugu’s commitment to his home extends beyond design details or embellishments. He is determined to manufacture it in South Africa and produced just 10 looks for this collection as he works to upskill his suppliers. The logo satchel was handcrafted in Johannesburg and the knitwear in Cape Town. He has said youth unemployment is 30%. With the support that he has gotten from the LVMH Prize he will build a brand made in Africa and worn worldwide.