Credit: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select/Getty Images
Designer Thebe Magugu wins the 2019 LVMH Prize
Thebe Magugu, the South African designer who launched his namesake label in 2017, has been awarded the 2019 LVMH Prize. Magugu -- who was also named the winning designer at London's International Fashion Showcase earlier this year -- will receive a grant of 300,000 euros (about $331,000), as well as a year of "technical and financial support" from the luxury conglomerate.
The prize was decided by a panel of over 60 experts, including Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt, British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Vogue China editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung and makeup artist Pat McGrath. Magugu was one of eight finalists, alongside the brands Anrealage, Bethany Williams, Bode, Hed Mayner, Kenneth Ize, Phipps and Stefan Cooke. Actor Alicia Vikander presented Magugu with the award.
Israeli designer Hed Mayner was awarded the Karl Lagerfeld Prize, formerly known as the Special Prize, and will receive 150,000 euros (about $165,000) as well as a year of mentorship from LVMH. Three recent fashion graduates -- Daisy Yu, of Central Saint Martins, Juliette Tréhorel, of Atelier Chardon Savard, and Alice Paris of Accademia Costume & Moda -- will receive a grant of 10,000 euros (about $11,000).
Yu, Tréhorel and Paris will also each join an LVMH brand for a year: Yu will join Louis Vuitton, Tréhorel Dior and Paris Givenchy.
Magugu grew up in Kimberley, South Africa before moving to Johannesburg to study fashion design and photography at the LISOF Fashion School. Speaking to CNN earlier this year, he said his goal was to "create clothes that merge [his] South African heritage with contemporary shapes and proportions."
The designer debuted his first collection in March 2017, while one of his creations -- a faux ostrich coat -- has already entered the Fashion Institute of Technology's permanent collection in New York.
"I come from a very rich culture: there's a lot of beadwork, a lot of craft. I want to merge these references with my global outlook," Magugu told in a February 2019 interview. "It's a project that reflects a more authentic Africa, one that recognizes that we are forward-looking, open to the world."
"My primary concern is to design clothes that make women feel beautiful but that are also functional," he said. "And I want my clothes to tell a story, because fashion is such an intelligent medium and I want to make as much use of it as possible."