American Marketer

Apparel and accessories

LVMH Prize goes to Thebe Magugu

September 4, 2019

Alicia Vikander with Hed Mayner (left) and Thebe Magugu. Image credit: LVMH Prize


Luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has awarded its Prize for Young Designers to South African designer Thebe Magugu.

The 26-year-old Mr. Magugu, who is based in Johannesburg, will be given a 300,000-euro grant and a year of mentorship. He is the first African designer to win the prize, which is now in its sixth year.

“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,” said Delphine Arnault, executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, in a statement. “His creative work appropriates the codes of menswear and women’s wear, of the traditional and the experimental, playing with volumes and traditional South-African know-how.”

Prize winner
On Sept. 4, LVMH invited the finalists to present their work to the jury one last time. The same day, the winners were announced, and LVMH Prize ambassador and actress Alicia Vikander presented them with their awards.

Along with his prize money and the mentorship, Mr. Magugu will be able to retail his collection on LVMH-owned ecommerce site 24S.

Instagram post from LVMH Prize

In addition to Mr. Magugu, Hed Mayner was awarded the Karl Lagerfeld Prize, which includes 150,000 euros and a one-year mentorship. The special prize was renamed this year to honor the memory and legacy of late designer Karl Lagerfeld (see story).

“The jury was also seduced by Hed Mayner’s contemporary vision,” Ms. Arnault said. “His collections question the notion of gender through an aesthetic that blends soft lines and structure, simplicity and luxury.”

More than 1,700 applicants entered for this year’s Prize for Young Designers.

Designers from 100 countries vied for a chance at a 300,000 euro grant and mentorship, and the 20 semi-finalists picked from the applicant pool represent 15 nations (see story).