Thebe Magugu

What a smile and what a great person to win the LVMHprize 2019!

Congratulations Thebe! Thanks LVMH for having me in the jury! Linda

[ Fashion ]

BART HESS at Manifattura Tabacchi

Bart Hess text by Philip Fimmano 


The work of Bart Hess is of the most tactile and intuitive nature. He first delved into instinctive textiles when studying at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where he created A Hunt for High Tech, a collection of materials that mimicked the bestial outer layers of unfamiliar hybrid species, accompanied by an evocative film that brilliantly brought his concepts to life. Over the past ten years, Hess has developed an impressive roster of work. He has pinned, stretched, slimed and scraped materials in relation to the human body, and collaborated with the likes of Lucy McRae, Nick Knight, Lady Gaga, Iris van Herpen and Walter van Beirendonck. In 2013, he is the recipient of the Stichting Profiel prize and his work is the subject of a mid-career survey at the Rijksmuseum Enschede. The exhibition notes explain that Hess creates another world, one “in which technology melds body and object… when we don the materials and applications that Hess has created, we are transformed into a new but completely logical creature.”

Hess feels that our bodies are increasingly becoming a platform for sensitive and interactive technology, and has constantly exposed the intimate relationship materials have upon our skin, including a concept for Philips Design that mounted an electronic tattoo underneath the skin’s surface. “It felt like a natural instinct for me to start working on the body. When I create a new design I always place it on my own skin even-though it originally was created as, for example, a flooring material. The fascinating thing about it for me is the combination of a skin and a material. By using a material on the body that is not the body’s own, but making it look like it could possibly be, I create a tension between the body and material.”[1]

Foamy, sweaty, blobular and molecular are the kinds of surfaces that Hess concocts. Flirting with a touch of the grotesque and the macabre, he explains that he tries “to find a balance between beauty and disgust or horror. I think the darker side of beauty has less restrictions because it hasn’t been explored that much, which makes it more interesting for me to show to my audience”.[2] Through the use of design, film, photography and installation, Hess has found intimate ways for his textiles to communicate with their “audience”, and in 2012’s Work With Me pop-up studio, he was even able to involve some of them in the making process.

If Hess is on the hunt for tactilities that can transform the design landscape, he is definitely on the right track. By innovating materials that braise, coat or titillate the body, he has opened up a sensual and sexually-charged discourse about the future of smart textiles. Hess introduces materials to our primal needs and innate sense of touch, showing that fabrications will first need to seduce us before they can become part of us.

Text by Philip Fimmano

Taken from the publication Fetishism in Fashion


[ Art ]

INSTALLATION SENJAN – Manifattura Tabacchi

Senjan Jansen is a composer, sound director, and designer as well as music producer who collaborates with various artists in the world of film, high fashion, theatre, and visual arts. Following a degree in filmmaking, he started composing music and designing sound for international films and television projects. He crossed over to extend his activities to fashion when Haider Ackermann asked him to produce the soundscape for his show in Paris. Jansen enables his soundscapes to manipulate, surprise, disguise, and to captivate. He creatively conceives a tension which comes to life through sound in one narration as he records and composes intimate musical soundscapes and auditory environments which echo an artist’s vision and the visual narrative. In 2017 he joined forces with visual artist Laure Prouvost on They Are Waiting For You (Walker Art Center) and Ring Sing And Drink for Trespassing (Palais de Tokyo).


[ Art ]

“if i could, unless we” A NIGHTWALK

“if I could, unless we”

A Nightwalk through Manifattura Tabacchi

Installation curated by Linda Loppa during Pitti Uomo in Florence:

a conversation with the Pitti Immagine concept bringing the city closer to the new premises of the Manifattura Tabacchi project

Monday June 10, invite only (press preview & guest), from 21:30 to 00:00

Tuesday June 11, Wednesday June 12, Thursday June 13, Friday June 14, from 21:30 to 00:00 Manifattura Tabacchi, Via delle Cascine 33, 50144 Florence


“if I could, unless we”

A Nightwalk through Manifattura Tabacchi

curated by Linda Loppa 

a project by Manifattura Tabacchi

exhibition set-up and production by Made in Manifattura Collective

“If I could, unless we” is not an exhibition, Manifattura Tabacchi is not a museum.

Me, we, ours, those are the words we want to share with you. By inviting you to Manifattura Tabacchi we come together in several fashion/art/sound/seeing/looking moments. We embrace time. Conditional sentences are talking about general truths, scientific facts, or things which always happen under certain conditions. (Learn English on-line.) By our conditional talks we can try to find out what spaces are and what fashion could or should be, if. By speaking and looking, we can create emotions to share; if not. Unless we are open minded and we think differently. Thanks to our “imaginary” or “immaginario“ we can invent the future; therefore we don’t look back. We will walk and talk together or alone. We will step in the world of another and dream together. In this walk we will avoid the clichés of fashion; no mannequins, no catwalk, no timeline, no storyboard; we walk. Seven designers/artists are offering to share their vision on fashion and not only, while walking through the untouched raw spaces of Manifattura Tabacchi. Manifattura Tabacchi is the driver to challenge our visions; we can do better, we must. Linda Loppa


Bart Hess / Lara Torres / Armando Chant / Moses Hamborg / Bernhard Willhelm / Clemens Thornquist / Senjan Jansen

June is going to be an important month as we are opening up new temporary spaces to the public. As the works proceed at Manifattura Tabacchi, we are able to offer the city an even greater programme of initiatives dedicated to creativity and culture. The exhibition curated by Linda Loppa is part of a project designed for Pitti Uomo: we were immediately taken by the idea of a night walk, which evokes a different, reflective dimension, on the line between fashion and art. It is a route which takes in multidisciplinary installations, all created by an extraordinary group of people who have worked tirelessly to bring life to the different parts of the former factory. We were always interested in contributing to this important event and we hope that we have succeeded in putting on a show that expresses the spirit of experimentation that is such a part of the Manifattura project and its vocation for the contemporary.

Michelangelo Giombini, Manifattura Tabacchi – Head of Product Development, May 2019

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