5 things you didn't know about: award-winning designer Thebe Magugu

THEBE MAGUGU during South African Fashion Week (SAFW) Autumn and Winter 2018 Collections. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
THEBE MAGUGU during South African Fashion Week (SAFW) Autumn and Winter 2018 Collections. (Photo by Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The fashion world, and Mzansi in general, cannot get enough of SA fashion designer Thebe Magugu. His latest conquest is a feature in Vogue May, where he was interviewed by renowned fashion writer Chioma Nnadi.

Here are five facts that you may not have known about the superstar designer.

1. His collection was inspired by a women-led human rights movement

In his collection, Magugu hails the tremendous and often unseen work of the Black Sash. The Black Sash is a group of women who advocate for the social equality and justice in South Africa, and have been active for 60 years.

He wrote on Instagram: “When people think of South Africa’s history and its heroes, it’s all too often the men who come to mind. The Black Sash is a phenomenal group of women, who put themselves in a direct line of danger protecting POC [people of colour] during our country’s dark past.”

Magugu often speaks of how he grew up being surrounded by strong female women and that they influence his designs.

2. He won his first fashion award at Lisof

Not a stranger to winning coveted awards, Magugu’s first fashion win was for his third-year fashion collection at Lisof School of Fashion and Design. This same award was also won by Uniform creative director Luke Radloff.

3. He used microchips in his garments

Magugu has used communication chips in the labels of the garments of his latest collection, titled Prosopography SS20.

When the clothing label is tapped with a smart phone using the Verisium app, the research and the inspiration behind the designer’s collection will appear on the phone. 

4. His childhood nightmares inspired his latest collection

Magugu’s latest collection was inspired by a journal where he would write his nightmares when he was a young boy. The graphic descriptions of his nightmare were translated into elegant, ready-to-wear pieces.

5. He was inspired by Fashion TV

Magugu did not grow up underneath his mother’s sewing machine, but rather in front of the television. The designer’s first fashion experience was from Fashion TV. His mother encouraged him to sketch his own designs, and from there, the only was up. 


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