Young South African designer, Thebe Magugu, who has been described as a leader of his generation and a force to reckon with in the global fashion scene by top fashion analysts and critics has won the 2019 International Fashion Showcase that took place in London.
Duran Lantink from the Netherlands and Cedric Mizero from Rwanda followed closely behind him.
The 26-year-old beat 15 other participants from all over the world including Kenya, Denmark, Brazil and the Netherlands to take the envious prize which has since its beginning set the tone for top designers today.
Organised by the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) with the support of the British Council, British Fashion Council, London College of Fashion, UAL and Somerset House, the prestigious program nurtures and presents work from the most exciting fashion talent from around the world and is one of the most applied fashion programs.
An excited Thebe took to his Facebook and Instagram to announce the big news and expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped him get this far at such a young stage in his career.
Born on September 1, 1993, Thebe grew up in Kimberly, South Africa, with several women who have today inspired his career in the fashion industry.
Finding his interest in fashion at an early age, Thebe pursued and studied Fashion & Apparel Design at Lisof Fashion School in Johannesburg. During his years in fashion school, Thebe contributed immensely in extracurricular activities and was very vocal in offering his views on the fashion scene which led him to make contributions to The Times and Flux Trends regarding modern fashion and South African youth culture.
In 2015, he decided to relocate to Johannesburg and opened his self-named women’s fashion line Thebe Magugu. Speaking to IOL South Africa in a 2017 interview, Thebe recalls his fashion journey starting from the point of being in creche when he would always draw women in clothes at any given opportunity.
He said: “My subject matter in crèche often involved women in clothes. Obviously, at that age, it was just red triangles on stick figures, but my mother saw this and bought me a massive sketch pad – it’s one of the most memorable gifts I’ve ever received because it became a sort of refuge for me.”
The Thebe Magugu fashion line is a women’s line made solely for the
confident, smart, risk-taking and impassioned woman ready to match her personality with her clothing and turn heads wherever she goes. The line is inspired by the themes of juxtaposition with an interest in exploring the disparity between masculinity & femininity, tradition & experiment, overlarge & abridged and other differences in the design of his garments.
Barely four years in the fashion industry, Thebe has managed to create a name for himself having his clothes on several runways in South Africa including the SA Fashion Week.
He has also been successful at creating an online presence
In this short time, Thebe has evolved greatly as a designer and a label and his dominance in the fashion scene earned him a slot in the IFS which has seen him pick up the award after several weeks of using his designs to explore themes of politics, sustainability, identity and heritage.