In an unprecedented triumph for South African fashion design, womenswear designer Thebe Magugu was announced the overall winner of this year’s LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers at an event at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris yesterday (4/9/2019).
“It is an incredible break-through for Thebe to receive recognition at this level. It is the fashion equivalent of winning a gold medal at the Olympics. We are utterly delighted and proud of his success,” said Lucilla Booyzen, director of South African Fashion Week (SAFW).
Magugu showed his first collection at SAFW, the country’s premier platform for designers, in 2017 to rave reviews and has since become one of the most sought-after designer represented internationally by SAFW-affiliated agency, The Fashion Agent.
Thebe will receive 300,000 € and enjoy a one-year mentorship program provided by a dedicated LVMH team. The eight finalists which were drawn from over 1,700 applicants representing more than 100 countries across all the continents were:
- ANREALAGE by Kunihiko Morinaga (Japanese designer, based in Tokyo). Womenswear, showing in Paris.
- BETHANY WILLIAMS by Bethany Williams (British designer, based in London). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in London.
- BODE by Emily Adams Bode (American designer, based in New York). Menswear, showing in New York.
- HED MAYNER by Hed Mayner (Israeli designer, based in Tel Aviv). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris.
- KENNETH IZE by Kenneth Izedonmwen (Nigerian designer, based in Lagos). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris and Lagos.
- PHIPPS by Spencer Phipps (American designer, based in Paris). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris.
- STEFAN COOKE by Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt (British designers, based in London). Menswear, showing in London.
- THEBE MAGUGU by Thebe Magugu (South African designer, based in Johannesburg). Womenswear, showing in Johannesburg.
Now in its sixth year, the panel of judges were: Jonathan Anderson, Kris Van Assche, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Clare Waight Keller, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, as well as Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie, and Sidney Toledano.