Championing women, South Africa, and progressive leadership in the process.
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Yesterday I won the International Fashion Showcase 2019 in London, and I can’t believe I was given the award by my idol @sarahmower_ . I am so overwhelmed by emotions and gratitude. Thank you to @british_design , @britishfashioncouncil , @somersethouse and @lcflondon_ for selecting me for a programme that has added to vastly to my life. Thank you @niamh.tuft and @jesscatelectric for their enthusiasm, professionalism and heart in all this. Thank you to my supporters and sponsors at home, namely the @connect_za , @woolworths_sa , @flysaa and @x_kellyfung_x. Thank you to my creative team @hattienewman, @hannahsunter , @travysowen , @orlioh and @ladyasingar . Thank you to all my friends and family for their continued support through the process. Congratulations to the other 15 designers, whom I have also learned so much from, who are all so incredible and did such a beautiful Job representing themselves and their country. Fashion is such a powerful, intelligent medium and I hope we use this tool to our advantage. Best, @thebetsilem X
2019 is shaping up to be another great year for global recognition of South African creativity: Thebe Magugu has been named the winner of the International Fashion Showcase, and we were there to see it happen.
His exhibition, titled Dawning, featured his African Studies collection and displayed his vision of a contemporary South Africa shaped by contemporary South Africans, while celebrating women’s leadership and contributions to South Africa’s progress.
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Our installation at the International Fashion Showcase, titled Dawning, is still on in the West Wing Galleries at @somersethouse until the 24th of February. It’s a celebration of South Africa’s progress these past few years. As many know, South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, almost an opposite to the version it was post ‘94. Despite pushbacks and serious crimes against them, South Africa is also becoming even more women-led, which is incredible for a variety of reasons. Thank you to my creative team: @hattienewman / @travysowen / @ladyasingar / @orlioh Thank you to the @british_design , @britishfashioncouncil , @somersethouse And @lcflondon_ for selecting us to be part of this incredible programme. Thank you to my supporters back home: @connect_za / @woolworths_sa / @flysaa / ELLE SA Here’s to a new era in South Africa ❤️
When 16 brilliant young designers from 16 countries across 5 continents are ushered into an 8-month business development programme and a creative residency within Somerset House Studios, committed into the care of people like Vogue contributing editor and emerging designer advocate Sarah Mower MBE, great things are bound to happen, and they did – Brave New Worlds, the new format exhibition that marked the end of 2019’s IFS programme, was an inspired display of global culture, commentary from diverse perspectives, proactive sustainability and inspiring social responsibility.
Thebe faced stiff competition from incredible young designers (many of whom he now calls friends), from as far afield as Bangladesh, Lithuania, Vietnam and Lebanon, and as close to home as Kenya & Rwanda.
There were tears in the room at the announcement – Thebe’s, and ours. That’s right – we were there. And we brought home some video! Please excuse the multiple OMG’s in the background – this was emotional okay?!