Making Change: Dior, Thebe Magugu, and Charlize Theron

We spoke with Theron and Magugu about the six-piece capsule collection that speaks to artistry, sisterhood, and the power of relationships.

Thebe Magugu
(Image credit: Courtesy of Dior)

South African designer Thebe Magugu's unwavering commitment to his heritage is a thread that has followed him throughout his career. Recently, the designer’s unique storytelling and ability to connect people through his pieces, which showcase the contemporary spirit of South Africa—his birthplace, hometown, and current brand headquarter—struck a chord with Dior's Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Last fall, Chiuri reached out to Magugu to collaborate on a six-piece capsule collection that merges classic Dior silhouettes and their signature oblique fabric with Magugu's point of view and South African values. Values which also happen to align with fellow South African and Dior ambassador Charlize Theron, whose charity, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) received a donation in honor of the collaboration. 

Jessica Chastain on the cover of Marie Claire's digital Holiday issue

(Image credit: Jessica Chou)

Theron says the collection is an authentic representation of Dior, Magugu, and the work she does with CTAOP—an organization founded in 2007 to support young people and help stop the spread of HIV by funding locally-led community-based organizations that focus on the health, education, and safety of South Africa's youth. "I really believe collaboration is the only way we have meaningful success," says Theron. "Complex challenges will never be changed by one entity alone. To collaborate is not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do. At CTAOP, our work relies on being in relationship with others—with organizations rooted in community, with young people living in Southern Africa, with other funders and donors, and with those whose vision and values align with ours.”

Launched this past October, the collection comprises a tee and skirt, hat, Dior book tote, boots, and silk scarf. “When fashion inspires, actively addresses, and gives back, it's at its most powerful,” says Magugu. “This is the level of fashion that I want to participate in.”

Thebe Magugu

The designer in his studio in Johannesburg, South Africa. "The visibility of our Sisterhood logo in the collection is key. It communicates the idea of unity, praise of feminine power, and the matriarchal figures that care for others. It's a powerful symbol of beliefs that I know Christian Dior, Charlize Theron and I all share."

(Image credit: Courtesy of Dior)

His Sisterhood logo, an emblem of two women holding hands, is woven prominently throughout his designs and the collection. The mark is a testament to his lifeblood—the matriarchal figures who have supported the designer throughout his studies and burgeoning label that he started in 2006. "The visibility of our Sisterhood logo is vital because it communicates an idea of unity, praise of feminine power, and maternal figures caring for one another," the designer says. 

"Complex challenges will never be changed by one entity alone. To collaborate is not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do."

Charlize Theron

Charlize hugging a girl

Theron working alongside the CTAOP.

(Image credit: Nick Pinnoy)

Charlize Theron

(Image credit: Dior)

Thebe Magugu

The moodboard for the Thebe Magugu x Dior capsule collection.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Dior)

Chiuri and Magugu—both supporters of Theron's work to create equitable systems across South Africa—saw this collaboration as a meaningful way to deepen support for CTAOP financially and artistically. But the capsule is not just a creative pursuit between artists, as much as an opportunity for people to come together to swap heartfelt compassion, enterprising ideas, and diverse perspectives. "Fashion, like all art, has the potential to move hearts and minds," says Theron. We need people to feel that passion for change. That's what philanthropy needs to drive change forward."

In our "Making Change" series, we celebrate the people and brands using their influence to do good.

Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director for Marie Claire, where she's worked alongside the publication for eight years in various roles, ensuring the brand's fashion content continues to inform, inspire, and shape the conversation about fashion's ever-evolving landscape. With a degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara is responsible for overseeing a diverse fashion content mix, from emerging and legacy designer profiles to reported features on the influence of social media on style and seasonal and micro trends across the world's fashion epicenters in New York, Milan, and Paris. Before joining Marie Claire, Sara held fashion roles at Conde Nast's Lucky Magazine and Self Magazine and was a style and travel contributor to Equinox's Furthermore website. Over her decade of experience in the fashion industry, Sara has helped guide each brand's style point of view, working alongside veteran photographers and stylists to bring editorial and celebrity photo shoots to fruition from start to finish. Sara currently lives in New York City. When she's not penning about fashion or travel, she’s at the farmer’s market, on a run, working to perfect her roasted chicken recipe, or spending time with her husband, dog, and cat. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork