SA designer Thebe Magugu wins International Fashion Showcase 2019

Magugu is a leader of his generation, judging panel says of fashion designer

19 February 2019 - 13:08 By AFP Relaxnews
Designer Thebe Magugu.
Designer Thebe Magugu.
Image: Supplied

Budding South African designer Thebe Magugu has been crowned the winner of the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) 2019 at London Fashion Week. 

Magugu, whose presentation combined motifs from Africa's past but combined them with a forward-looking, global approach, was awarded the honour from a judging panel that called him ‘a leader of his generation'. His installation focused on the changes to the South African constitution over the decades.

The IFS is the brainchild of the British Council, British Fashion Council, London College of Fashion, UAL and Somerset House - all of whom have teamed up to present the exhibition.

This year's project offered 16 creatives from across the globe the chance to represent their respective countries via a series of immersive installations showcasing their menswear and womenswear collections and exploring the issues of politics, sustainability, identity and heritage.

In an Instagram post sharing the news of his win with his followers, Magugu said he was "overwhelmed by emotions and gratitude," adding: "Fashion is such a powerful, intelligent medium and I hope we use this tool to our advantage."

Designer Duran Lantink, from the Netherlands, received a special mention for his collection, which raised questions about the phenomena of sales and sales rioting in fashion, and showcased pieces from his ‘0% Duran' line, which is created by refashioning clothes from discount sites.

Cedric Mizero from Rwanda was also given a special mention for his curation, which featured objects from daily life in a Rwandan village and focused on the issues of marginalised communities. The judges called the message behind his work "universal and deeply human."

The 2019 IFS exhibition features designers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Georgia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Vietnam. It will remain open through February 24.