“What if the ideals of ‘Haute Couture’ were really born in Africa”, poses the designer Thebe Magugu. Thebe’s eponymous brand, Thebe Magugu, is the first “Amigo” to design a capsule collection for AZ Factory, Alber Elbaz’s experimental women’s fashion brand. Entitled “Intersection”, the South African designer injects his African heritage and inspired aesthetic into the house’s codes while starting a new fashion conversation around Africa and couture.
As the craftsmanship is often indigenous to the continent, this collection truly offers a platform for black skills. “I think right now the conversation should be that couture can be for more than one type of person and I’d like to think we’ve achieved that with this collection. Bringing other people on board,” says Thebe via a press release.
Worn by Zendaya, “I May Destroy You” creator and star Michaela Coel, and even a cameo on “Insecure,” Thebe has been making waves as a promising emerging talent in the industry. Known for its utilitarian tailoring, nostalgic silhouettes, meticulous knitting, nods to images and patterns associated with African heritage, and collaboration with contemporary artists, this AZ product story is a continuation of its brand philosophy.
Here, Africa is placed at the center of the collection, with the juxtaposition of the nu-Africa aesthetic and the notable principles of couture, as well as the visual language unique to AZ Factory.
From shirt dresses slathered with illustrations by French-Algerian artist Chafik Cheriet to a refined white trapeze dress with bell sleeves and a cutout (debossed with the brand’s logo), a black nylon bomber jacket paired with a bubble skirt and traditional Bandeau Gele garments, to a modern take on a traditional Makoti bridal-inspired look.
‘Intersection’, Thebe Magugu’s product story for AZ Factory, will be released in 2 drops: the first will launch on June 1 and the second in September 2022.