LVMH Prize winner Thebe Magugu unveiled the look book for his “Discard Theory” collection just ahead of his shows on Friday at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
Thebe Magugu’s 25-piece collection, previewed during Paris Fashion Week, was inspired by his trips to South Africa’s secondhand markets. He gave a dose of luxe to many of those looks, and worked playfully, too, mixing up luxury textiles.
He released a documentary on Sept. 29 following his experience in the Dunusa market. The 15-minute film shows Magugu rummaging through the discarded clothes dumped by the U.S. and Europe, and exported to developing countries.
Watch Discard Theory:
Dunusa, he explains, “translates as ‘Bend Over,’ because that’s what everyone does to rummage. It’s this idea of inverting that trickle-down theory where things start with the bourgeoisie and make their way down to those bins,” he continued. “This collection tries to do the opposite, and move things that were from those bins up into that space.”
Magugu said he hopes the documentary will help consumers reflect on the environmental and social impact of where their discarded clothing ends up, how it affects local economies and hurts young designers.
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“I think it’s most unforgiving on emerging brands and on young designers,” he said. “Things are so cheap, that it sort of warps people’s perceptions. Emerging designers are always having to justify [themselves], and it’s becoming increasingly difficult.”