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Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu link up to champion adidas Love Unites pride range

South Africa's award-winning fashion designers Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu have linked up to recreate and add vigour to the adidas' iconic Love Unites pride collection to tell the story of sport culture through the eyes of South African LGBTQ+ community.

Indicative of how sport and fashion have always enjoyed a super close relationship, adidas recently partnered with South Africa’s award-winning fashion designers, Rich Mnisi and Thebe Magugu – alongside global influential members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community – to headline the 2021 Pride collection for its ‘Love Unites‘ campaign.

With pieces (as seen below) spanning across style and performance wear, the expansive collection looks to further champion and pay homage to the ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) visual aesthetic born from the LGBTQ+ communities who had sought to create their own spaces for self-expression.

Explaining the connection between his new pro-LGBTQI+ adidas collection and how sportswear fashion has often required the use of professional athlete in its marketing mediums, Mnisi, famous for both his unique contemporary designs and dressing the likes of adidas creative partner and American music superstar Beyoncé said: “Heteronormativity from professional sports to children’s athletics has been seen as the typical model in sports culture.”

True to form, Mnisi “reimagined this Pride collection by celebrating queer personalities that exist in sport today, dancer Lebo Otukile, rugby player Soala Amabeoku and soccer player & coach Mpumi Nyandeni,” he further explained.

Equally excited, Magugu hailed the campaign for spotlighting those working hard to push the boundaries of both fashion through sport, which had for years remained a hostile territory for LGBTQ+ community not only in South Africa but throughout the world.

“More queer athletes are running, shooting hoops, and kicking stereotypes with pride than ever before. In sports, like everyday life, cultivating passion begins with love. As queer athletes leap over stereotypes and break boundaries, let their passion inspire you to wear your heart on your sleeve and stand with pride,” added Magugu. His reimagined adidas pride collection features models Lethabo Gailele, Monray Louw and ChalĂ© Darwin.

The 2021 ‘Love Unites’ collection is available at selected and at adidas stores nationwide.

*For previous coverage from our gallery on adidas continues to push creative boundaries, click here.

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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