To celebrate the relaunch of their international website, fashion powerhouse Thebe Magugu announced a new limited-edition “Heritage Dress” collection featuring historic cultural illustrations by visual artist, Phathu Nembwili. A Mzansi original, the capsule features nine dresses that bear a painting that illustrates each South African culture – namely Xhosa, Zulu, Pedi, Vhavenda, Tswana, Tsonga, Basotho, and the Swati. The dresses are envisioned on a free-flowing crepe Bohemia-style dress with bishop sleeves and a foulard neckline.


A champion for community, the idea of family is central to Thebe Magugu’s work. In the capsule’s imagery, Magugu explores how women physically carrying a lot on their heads is symbolic of the many responsibilities they have to take on in their families. Objects are artistically balanced on the heads of the South African women who he has been vocal about admiring. Moreover, the designer shows his sense of humour by adding modern everyday items, including grapes, onions, a telephone, a biscuit tin, and iron.



Thebe Magugu cast several women whom he admires across many fields, including politician Lindiwe Mazibuko, lawyer Lita Miti-Qamata (who is also Magugu’s lawyer), rapper Nadia Nakai, actress Pearl Thusi, stylist Bee Diamondhead and fine artist Zandile Tshabalala.


Since its inception, the award-winning designer has strived for the Thebe Magugu brand to capture moments and people that run the risk of being forgotten – justifying the representation of black South African women through his latest collection. An advocate for collaboration, Magugu commissioned three leading professors from the University of South Africa to deep dive into the customs and traditions of each culture’s mother and child relationships through articulate essays that will be placed on the website alongside each dress.



Thebe Magugu’s capsule might explicitly depict the sacred bond between mother and child, but motherhood is always a central theme in his atelier. The illustrious designer describes the women in his family as the blueprint of his brand. This can be seen through the Thebe Magugu logo which showcases two women on the floor while holding hands.


The Thebe Magugu international website is set to relaunch on the 13th of June 2023. “Heritage Dress” is the second installation of the fashion house’s acclaimed “Heritage Series.”







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