A new rising figure in fashion, South African designer Thebe Magugu, 26 years old and winner of the LVMH prize in September 2019, is a committed designer, very concerned and involved on a daily basis by the cause of women, and sensitive to the situation of children living in the townships in South Africa. After beeing a sponsor of the Uniforms & Differences operation of Designing Hope in 2019, here is a new story that associates the designer with the association and its actions in Southern Africa:
the exhibition and installation “Porte-Bonheurs, invité Thebe Magugu” at Bon Marché Rive Gauche.
On the initiative of Frédéric Bodenes, Image and Creative Director, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche has called on Thebe Magugu for its next exhibition “Porte-Bonheurs”, to implement a unique project to support Designing Hope, in particular its work in Southern Africa.
“We are deeply committed to investing in philanthropic works, and it is in our DNA to do so through the prism of fashion,” says Patrice Wagner, Chairman and CEO of Groupe Bon Marché.
Common DNA with Designing Hope, which with its adventure “La Mode Dessine l’Espoir” (Fashion Designing Hope), has marked its 18 years of existence with collaborations with 80 designers, including the biggest names in fashion.
A spectacular installation
This coming Spring, Le Bon Marché will unveil “Porte-Bonheurs”: a spectacular installation of 20,000 multicoloured fabric flowers designed by Thebe Magugu, made up as brooches stitched on countless lianas, suspended in the hopper and in the various areas of the shop. A vibrant and poetic staging for a charity project that is also extremely concrete.
More than an artistic gesture, Thebe Magugu’s installation “Porte-Bonheurs” is the theatre of a fantastic philanthropic project. In December 2019, the teams from Le Bon Marché and Thebe Magugu spent two days with Designing Hope’s team in Johannesburg to design the original flower model. It was then sewn and embroidered by 120 vulnerable women in four workshops supported by the association, two in Eswatini, in Pigg’s Peak and Bulembu; and two in South Africa, in Roosboom and Johannesburg.
The flowers are available in the seven colours of the rainbow and two sizes. They all carry Thebe Magugu’s signature label and 20% of them include a petal cut from the designer’s printed fabric. These singular flowers have been designed like “Porte-Bonheurs”, which from Eswatini and South Africa to Paris, carry a message of generosity and delicacy.
Above, the words written in flowers in the windows of the Bon Marché Rive Gauche.
A significant local impact.
An income-generating activity for women …
The first phase of the project, consisting of making the 20,000 flowers, was a great opportunity for the 120 women involved. A considerable amount of work, carried out just before the Covid crisis, and which enabled so many families to pass the test of confinement in better conditions.
… Followed by a surge of generosity to fund a new project
All of these benefits will contribute to the implementation of the new Designing Hope project: entitled the “Garden of skills” located in the village of Malanti in Eswatini.
The idea? To bring together on the same site a forest garden (associating trees that fertilize the soil with market gardening) and a training and activity centre in the field of agroecology, crafts and micro-project management, open, in particular, to underprivileged women and youth. The “Garden of Skills” will provide them with equipped workshops for sewing, handicrafts, the processing and conservation of garden products and the acquisition of knowledge in nutrition.
The installation of chalets on the site will make it possible to welcome solidarity tourism and accommodate volunteers who can share their know-how during their stay. In the long term, they will constitute an additional resource for the self-financing of the “Garden of skills”.
Partnerships will also be forged with local schools, partners of the association, to offer workshops on agro-ecology, environmental awareness and nutrition.