South African Designer Thebe Magugu Scoops the LVMH Prize

Thebe Magugu won the 2019 edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers on Wednesday, marking the first time a designer from the African continent has been awarded one of fashion’s most prestigious awards.

Alicia Vikander announced the winner at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in the presence of jury members including Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière, Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, Loewe artistic director Jonathan Anderson and Berluti’s Kris Van Assche.

The designer beat some 1,700 applicants from 100 countries to walk away with a grand prize of 300,000 euros, plus a year of coaching from experts at luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, parent of brands including Vuitton, Guerlain, Dom Pérignon and Sephora.

It was the first edition of the prize held since the death of Karl Lagerfeld, the doyen of LVMH designers, who was creative director at Fendi for a record 54 years.

The runner-up Special Prize, renamed the Karl Lagerfeld Prize in his honor, went to Hed Mayner, who will receive 150,000 euros and a one-year mentorship program provided by a dedicated
 LVMH team offering expertise in such areas as intellectual property, sourcing, production, distribution, image, communication and marketing.

The past five winners of the main prize are Thomas Tait, Marques’ Almeida, Grace Wales Bonner, Marine Serre and Doublet’s Masayuki Ino, and the award has also boosted the careers of its runner-up special-prize winners: Hood by Air, Miuniku, Jacquemus, Vejas, Kozaburo Akasaka and Rok Hwang’s Rokh label.

The prize-giving ceremony, traditionally held in June, was postponed this year without explanation, with a source familiar with the situation citing calendar conflicts among some of the senior executives and designers expected to attend the event.

For the first time this year, online retailer 24S — formerly known as 24 Sèvres — has launched a capsule collection of outfits designed by the eight finalists, which it celebrated with a cocktail party at Paris institution Lapérouse on Tuesday night.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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