Championing women, South Africa, and progressive leadership in the process.

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.

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?!