Thebe Magugu's Fashion Heirloom

by SHOWstudio on 25 September 2023

The South African designer's latest project is a customisable family heirloom shirt.

The South African designer's latest project is a customisable family heirloom shirt.

Thebe Magugu has always brought people together. Winning the LVMH Prize in 2019, Magugu's determined approach to design is anchored by local South African craftspeople and ancestral stories which bind communities together. Now, the brand is inviting people to have a hand in creating their own Thebe Magugu Wax Print Blouse.

Photograph Alice Mann

Magugu wanted to personalise African wax print traditions by replacing the faces people expect to see on them. 'I think so many times, history and its figures have always been imposed on to us, and I love the idea of taking back and empowering others to fashion their own history with their own key figures.'

Through an online portal accessible via in October, customers will be able to order their own custom Thebe Magugu wax print blouse with an image of their own - for his shirt, the designer chose a photograph of his late grandmother Matiego Magugu. 'Wearing it makes me feel protected and watched over by her, and I hope people choose subjects based off of emotional connection, because that is a function of a charm - a physical part representing a metaphysical whole', he explains.

'At THEBE MAGUGU, we believe in preservation. I love the idea of wearing ones heart on the sleeve, and this project does that in a way that is both physical and symbolic. You can choose to honour and memorialise anyone who has left an impact on you - living or transitioned, blood or chosen.'

Photograph Alice Mann

The Heirloom Shirts are available in three colourways: Sky Blue, Candy Pink & Lime Green, in the sizes Extra Small to Double Extra Large. 

The pre-order window opens 6-22 October 2023, with worldwide delivery from 10 December 2023.

Photograph Alice Mann
Photograph Alice Mann


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