South African designer Thebe Magugu recently joined forces with French luxury fashion house Dior for a limited-edition capsule collection inspired by its famous New Look. This collaboration will aid the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project — an association created in 2007 by the actress to promote AIDS prevention and education programs for young South Africans.

Dior’s creative director of women’s collections, Maria Grazia Chiuri, asked Magugu to design “a reinterpretation of the iconic New Look through his contemporary feminist vision”. For the occasion, Dior has established a dialogue between their two studios and creative workshops, from Paris to Johannesburg.

This task mirrors a second-year assignment Thebe had as a fashion student at LISOF fashion school, Johannesburg, where the students were tasked to interpret Christian Dior’s New Look – a pinch-waisted, fan-skirted look that caused a sensation in 1947. Magugu’s impressive interpretative design would eventually turn out to be a dress rehearsal for one of the most high-profile collaborations of his career so far.

When asked about the significance, Thebe reiterates how Dior’s legacy has transcended the African continent:

I’m from a small mining town called Kimberly, a place which sometimes is completely overlooked on certain maps. But even there people are very familiar with Christian Dior, It sort of revolutionised how women dress, Magugu tells Women’s Wear Daily.

For this collaboration, Thebe reimagined a Dior cinched jacket as a cotton T-shirt and a flaring skirt.

The reimagined T-shirt has Thebe’s signature brand emblem, which depicts two women holding hands and standing as a powerful symbol of sisterhood and unity.

This emblem also reflects Maria’s themes of feminism, embedded in her tenure as Dior’s Creative Director.

Meanwhile, according to Thebe, the Flaring Skirt, is “a beautiful pairing between my universe and Maria’s universe”.
He continues: “At Dior, I’ve always loved when she’s done the full-circle skirts. I’ve looked at those things forever”.

This limited edition collection will be available from October 27 in Dior’s most prestigious boutiques.