Thebe Magugu Spring Summer 2022 Collection: Doublethink

Thebe Magugu Spring Summer 2022 Collection: Doublethink

Thebe Magugu Spring Summer 2022 Collection: Doublethink

An exploration of political corruption and whistleblowers through fashion.

An exploration of political corruption and whistleblowers through fashion.

Text: Rocio Fabbro

Luxury South African fashion designer, Thebe Magugu, debuted his Spring Summer 2022 Collection, titled "Doublethink," at Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy. This is the 2019 LVMH winner's first-ever full menswear collection.

"Doublethink," a reference to George Orwell's seminal novel, "1984," is an exploration of corruption in Africa and the whistleblowers who challenge it.

Part of the conceptual framework of the collection is also taken from Mandy Wiener's book, "The Whistleblowers."

"Whistleblowers are not celebrated or cast as heroic characters. Instead, they are largely treated as insubordinate, pariahs or troublemakers, wearing the scarlet letter W and unable to find employment. I have chosen to shine a light on the plight of whistleblowers in South Africa, in the hope to advocate for a change in legislation, organizational support and a change in social attitude," said Magugu. He explained that the concept of "Black Hat Bandits" and "White Hat Heroes" sparked the strong western influence within the collection.

Silhouettes in the collection explore an evolved masculinity. Merging the fundamentals of mens tailoring with intricate detailing taken from the Great Basin buckaroo, which has roots in Spanish vaquero style. The color palette includes high-veld yellows, bushy greens and baby blues - inspired by both the previous and the current national flag of South Africa.

Images courtesy of Thebe Magugu.

Archival works by renowned political cartoonist Jonathan Zapiro are featured in headlining prints. The artworks “SA Body Politic” and “Zuma must Fall" are used across linen, denim and cotton. They describe the country’s political landscape through the cartoonist's use of hyena’s to symbolize politicians who have mastered the art of manipulation.

Images courtesy of Thebe Magugu.

The “Soft’Tsotsi” boots are the first menswear shoe proposition from the brand. These black knee-length equestrian boots feature the newly-developed ‘TM’ brand insignia on the toe, and an inflamed red cut-out of our Sisterhood Emblem on the calf. Magugu infuses humor into his designs with a custom stainless steel spur that features a rotating cut-out of the brand's logo.

Images courtesy of Thebe Magugu.

The collection is also associated with a newspaper, created under the brands publishing arm Faculty Press, in collaboration with leading South African newspaper The Daily Maverick. The 32-page newspaper features articles exploring the cost of corruption for the country and continent from leading journalists, including Ferial Haffajee, Branco Brkic and Sibusiso Ngalwa, with a paper by fashion theorist Erica De Greef.

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