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Local Designer Wins Prestigious LVMH Award

South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu has become the first African designer to win the coveted Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy LVMH Prize.

Thebe Magugu | House and Leisure
Thebe Magugu.


Hailing from Kimberley, 26-year-old fashion designer Thebe Magugu has rapidly made a name for himself in the industry since the creation of his label focusing on women's ready-to-wear apparel. And now he's become the youngest designer ever to win one of the international fashion world's most prestigious awards, the LVMH Prize.

Magugu spoke to Times LIVE about going head-to-head with eight other finalists and receiving the prestigious LVMH Award. 

'I can’t say this has been two years in the making,' he says. 'This has been in the making since Grade Four. Every cell in my body has been geared towards my being a person in fashion and being a designer.' 


Magugu radiates joy in the official LVMH photograph of him holding the prize trophy, which was specifically designed for the competition by the French contemporary artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. 

Developed in 2014, the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers aims to support young fashion designers and recognise the talent of an innovative and outstanding designer.

The panel of esteemed judges for the prize includes JW Anderson, Kris Van Assche, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Nicolas Ghezquière, Marc Jacobs, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, Clare Waight Keller, Delphine Arnault, Jean Paul Claiyerie and Sydney Toledano.

As part of the award, Magugu receives a €300000 grant along with a one-year mentoring programme supported by a dedicated LVMH team covering a range of sectors from sustainable development to sourcing, production and more. 

ALSO READ: HL Next Level 2018: Fashion Designer Thebe Magugu 

Says executive vice-president of Louis Vuitton, Delphine Arnault, 'I am delighted that, for the first time, an African candidate has won the prize, all the more so since Thebe Magugu, aged 26 , is the youngest designer of the 2019 selection. His creative work appropriates the codes of menswear and womenswear, of the traditional and experimental, playing with the volumes and traditional South African know-how.'  

Each year, LVMH also also provides a special prize that is now known as the Karl Lagerfeld Prize, in memory of the renowned designer. This year's recipient of the Karl Lagerfeld Prize is Hed Mayner, a 33-year-old Israeli fashion designer. 


Magugu has also gained previous international acclaim for his design work, with his pieces having been featured recently in publications such as British Vogue. In 2018, he was also named as one of House and Leisure's Next Level of creative talent in South Africa, and his 'Girl Seeks Girl' dress was nominated as one of Design Indaba's Most Beautiful Objects in SA.