LVMH Prize winner Thebe Magugu‘s personal sketchbook Instagram is a sanctuary for the Johannesburg native’s creative side. Free from demands and prying eyes, the designer “doodle[s] myself into certain situations instead of photographing them,” he explains, utilizing this motif as a basis for a new line dubbed “Extracurricular,” initially dropping exclusively at Dover Street Market.
Equally inspired by KC Green’s memetic On Fire and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Magugu’s design reflects a universal feeling, that of a population striving to cope and persevere through turmoil. He also “wanted to really focus on making the perfect white tee,” he tells HYPEBEAST.
“Starting with the fabrication, which is 100% South African-grown, spun and milled cotton in a premium 180 GSM (grams per square meter). It is a comfortable boxy proportion [and] comes with a Verisium NFC chip sewn into the side seam that you can scan with your smartphone, which you should check regularly for any updates directly coming from me.” The flame-laden tee features a top-shelf screen print of a Magugu doodle, the first of many lighthearted, genderless designs to come.
A dozen South African creatives are showcased in the accompanying imagery, reflecting a series of school photos that riff on tropes like “the class clown” and “the artiste,” reflecting the playful nature of the Extracurricular sub-label in relation to Magugu’s eponymous mainline.
As for the DSM connection, “I have a deep respect for Dover Street Market and feel particularly inspired by Adrian Joffe, who is actually a fellow South African,” Magugu explains to HYPEBEAST, He was one of the people who actually encouraged me to start Extracurricular. He was one of my mentors through the LVMH Prize and I told him in passing about this ‘idea’ I had and he said it’s something I certainly have to explore – and I so glad I did because I have had so much fun creating this cool little sister to my main brand.”
“I am always in awe of all DSM stores – there is an unfiltered sense of creativity, from their visual merchandising to their communications, which makes me so proud to be one of the brands they represent. I will also never forget Adrian and Rei Kawakubo’s surprise visit to my showroom in Paris – they are such champions for young talent.”
Shop the new collection at global Dover Street Market outposts and Thebe Magugu’s own web store.
In the name of supporting new designers, Dover Street Market is reportedly opening a new concept store next year to do just that.