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THEBE MAGUGU presents ‘HERITAGE III: Lobola Negotiations’ featuring SA prominent stars

Since 2022, Thebe Magugu has annually released his Heritage capsule collection, a vibrant tribute to his South African roots. Raised in Kimberley and Johannesburg, he absorbed the diverse tapestry of African tribes and customs. Part I spotlighted South Africa’s eight prominent tribes with bohemian-inspired dresses featuring open necklines, while Part II celebrated motherhood across South African cultures. “I want to show off our culture,” Magugu shares with Vogue over Zoom from his Johannesburg studio. “The aim is to celebrate our roots, but what Heritage does is give tradition a modern sartorial spin.”

Nomzamo Mbatha, Image:Instagram/@FashionMoements

Magugu delves into the tradition of “Lobola” for his third instalment of Heritage – a centuries-old negotiation preceding marriage, where the groom’s family typically offers cattle, now often money, to the bride’s family in exchange for her hand. This time, he introduces a menswear line-up alongside womenswear, and enlists a stellar cast of South Africa’s luminaries. Collaborating with artist Phathu Nembilwi, with whom he has previously worked on Heritage collections, each garment features an illustration depicting a scene representing the ancient customs of “Lobola”.

Thebe Magugu, Thebe Ikalafeng, Trevor Sturman, Image: Instagram/@FashionMoements

For the womenswear, Magugu decided to shake up his previous capsule collections by playing with proportions. This time around, the designer crafted nine hourglass-shaped shirt dresses featuring a ’70s-inspired collar adorned with his distinctive stainless steel coin button. While the sleeves maintain a slender profile, they gracefully flare out into a fan-like shape, enhanced by top-stitched details that lend dimension to the overall aesthetic.

Each dress showcases vibrant illustrations and colours, digitally designed and printed onto crepe-back matte satin. When it came to selecting colours, Magugu aimed to celebrate the concept of opposites attracting: “I wanted to explore the allure of contrasting, like pairing acidic yellow with deep plum, which may seem unconventional but visually captivates,” he explains.

As for the menswear, lightweight satin is digitally printed, then crafted into collarless long-sleeved shirts featuring a keyhole neckline fastened with the brand’s signature stainless steel coin button.

DR John Kani, Image: Instagram/@FashionMoements

These shirts are paired with tailored black trousers, complemented by fez-like hats crafted in collaboration with local hat maker Simon and Mary and classic footwear from the renowned South African shoe brand Dakota.

Image: Instagram/@Thebemagugu

Central to Magugu’s vision for this capsule was the casting process, in which he enlisted a diverse array of influential voices from various sectors in South Africa. This line-up includes notable figures such as Ama Qamata from Netflix’s Blood & Water; the renowned author, playwright, and director Dr John Kani OBE (known for his role as Rafiki in The Lion King alongside Beyoncé); prominent football midfielder Miguel Timm; accomplished businesswoman Nunu Ntshingila; the esteemed professor Thuli Madonsela (a former public protector who finalised the constitution during Nelson Mandela’s presidency post-Apartheid); musician and producer Tresor Riziki; and ceramic artist Zizipho Poswa, among others. Magugu expresses his gratitude: “I’ve reached out to some of the most extraordinary individuals in my country, whom I’m fortunate enough to call my friends, to help bring this vision to life, and I’m deeply grateful for their involvement.”

Original Article can be found on British Vogue

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