“What if Ideals of ‘Haute Couture’ were actually birthed in Africa”, poses designer Thebe Magugu. Thebe’s eponymous brand, Thebe Magugu, is the first ‘Amigo’ to design a capsule collection for the late designer, Alber Elbaz’s experimental womenswear fashion label, AZ Factory. Titled ‘Intersection’, the South African designer interjects his African heritage and inspired aesthetic into the brand’s house codes while initiating a new fashion conversation around Africa and couture. 

As artisanal craftsmanship is often indigenous to the continent, this collection really offers a platform for Black skill. “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 the likes of Zendaya, ‘I May Destroy You’ creator & star Michaela Coel, and even a cameo on ‘Insecure’, Thebe has been making waves as a promising emerging talent in the industry. Known for utilitarian tailoring, nostalgic silhouettes, meticulous knitwear, nods to images and motifs associated with African legacy, and collaboration with contemporary artists—this AZ product story, is a continuation of his brand ethos.

Here Africa is placed at the center of the collection, with the juxtaposition of nu-Africa aesthetics and the notable principles of couture, as well as AZ Factory’s own visual language.

From shirt dresses brushed with illustrations of Franco-Algerian artist Chafik Cheriet to a refined white A-line dress with bell sleeves and a cut-out (embossed with the brand’s logo), a black nylon bomber jacket paired with a bubble wrap skirt and traditional Gele headwrap, to a modern interpretation of a traditional Makoti bridal-inspired look.

‘Intersection’, the product story by Thebe Magugu for AZ Factory, to be released in 2 drops: the first launches on June 1st and the second in September 2022.