Thebe Magugu. Image: Instagram Thebe Magugu’s Autumn/Winter 2020 collection at Paris Fashion Week had everyone talking, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, who gave a nod to the designers work on Twitter.
%%%twitter https://twitter.com/_ThebeMagugu_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@_ThebeMagugu_is the 1st African designer to win the highly coveted LVMH prize. His debut at Paris Fashion Week pays homage to his home country South Africa. The level of consciousness he brings to his artistry is most inspiring and distinguishes him from his contemporaries. pic.twitter.com/YClA2W3e9c
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa)
@_ThebeMagugu_ is the 1st African designer to win the highly coveted LVMH prize. His debut at Paris Fashion Week pays homage to his home country South Africa. The level of consciousness he brings to his artistry is most inspiring and distinguishes him from his contemporaries. pic.twitter.com/YClA2W3e9c
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 28, 2020 The Kimberley-born designer’s eclectic collection, Anthro 1, Ipopeng Ext. featured a photo exhibition and film shot in his hometown. It set the perfect scene for the models to showcase Magugu’s unique designs.
Vogue magazine was equally impressed with Magugu’s visual presentation stating that the 27-year-old ‘gave one of the more effective presentations of Paris Fashion Week so far by simultaneously showing his Autumn/Winter 2020 collection and an exhibition of large-scale, photographic portraits and a film shot in his home village near Kimberley, South Africa.’
Magugu’s star has been on the rise since making history as the first African to walk away with the highly coveted 2019 LVMH prize for his installation Dawning—which was also recently nominated for Design Indaba2020’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa.
The contemporary designer’s work consistently references his hometown Kimberley. Anthro 1 pays homage to South Africa and is a fresh mixture of nostalgia and activism. It looks at Magugu’s daily life growing up in Ipopeng, a township in Kimberley. 'I can tell you so many stories about the people of Kimberley; about their self-sacrificial nature, their unconditional love, and inherent spirit of Ubuntu, even within an arid and often hostile environment. In fact, I often say that it's these extreme contrasts – beauty vs brutality, extravagance v economy, traditions vs modernity that ave fuelled my work. This is why this project, titled Ipopeng Ext., is so important to me,' said Magugu in an interview.
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“Domestic Venus” + “Big Hole 1” My family’s dining room is transformed into a stage for poetic glamour and high drama. Annah wears the AW20 Fluted Green and White Knitted Dress in Wool with Sisterhood Scarf. From the series “IPOPENG EXT.” Shot by @kristinleemoolman, styled by @ibkamara. Words by Dr Erica De Greef. MUA: @orlioh Jewelry: @githancoopoo Muse: @thereal.annah Production: @lampost.production
A post shared by Thebe Magugu(@thebemagugu) on Feb 28, 2020 at 6:13am PST
He further explains in an IG post that, ‘ Ipopeng’s histories and people remain unwritten and overlooked. The disavowal of everyday township lives, of powerful personal stories and of extraordinary achievements reflects this ongoing dismissal both in South Africa and the world. This makes IPOPENG EXT. urgent, substantial and deeply political. The fashioned photographs script the stories of the landscape, the people, their faces, experiences and lives lived, and the faith and community that holds them together.’
Thebe Magugu’s work is consistently fresh, relevant and thought-provoking. This is African fashion, by a proudly South African talent, in a way that the world has never seen before, and we are here for it.