LVMH Prize opens to public, as 20 semi-finalists revealed
LVMH has revealed the names of the 20 semi-finalists in this year’s LVMH Prize, which for the first time will take place via a digital platform and allows the public to vote on the award.
“This year the public becomes the expert,” stressed LVMH in its release. The general public will be able to cast their votes on the site lvmhprize.com, where the 20 semi-finalists will display their collections from April 6 to April 11.
The semi-final is mainly judged by a jury of some 50 experts: prominent editors, models, style leaders, key retailers, make-up artists and fashion educators. This year, a half dozen boldface names have joined the committee of experts, including tennis champion, Naomi Osaka, who has also been named ambassador of this edition, and who will accompany the award to its final.
Five other personalities have joined the prestigious Expert Committee: model Bella Hadid; Harper's Bazaar US editor-in-chief Samira Nasr; actress Léa Seydoux; Vogue Paris fashion director Aleksandra Woroniecka; and Margaret Zhang, editor-in-chief of Vogue China. While the public’s vote will count as one expert in the final tally.
“This semi-final will be entirely digital, and we wanted to open it to the greatest number of people: for the first time, the LVMH Prize will give the public the opportunity to discover the 20 semi-finalists on the lvmhprize.com website and to vote for the candidate of their choice,” explained Delphine Arnault, the brainchild behind the LVMH Prize.
Testifying to the global interest in the LVMH Prize, which was launched in 2013, the 20 young hopefuls emerged from a field of 1,900 candidates, who filed applications from some 110 countries.
The semi-finalists this year are spread across 12 countries: China, France, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States and, for the first time, Albania and Colombia.
The 20 include a mixture of happening young stars and somewhat obscure talent. The largest contingent are based in Britain: Alicia Robinson of AGR; Bianca Saunders; America’s Conner Ives; Saul Nash; Albania’s Nensi Dojaka; and Amy Trinh and Evan Phillips of Wed – all of whom live in London.
Certainly the most noted so far in their careers must be Charles de Vilmorin, an acclaimed talent recently appointed artistic director of Rochas, and based in Paris; and Christopher John Rogers, one of two New York designers along with Kidsuper's Colm Dillane. They join two Italians, Federico Cina and Andreas Steiner, an Italian designer based in Paris; and two designers based in Shanghai: Rui Zhou and Shuting Qiu.
There are also two Tokyo-based talents: Takuya Morikawa, who has garnered impressive plaudits for his brand Taakk; and Taku Midorikawa. Five other designer complete the score: Kika Vargas, a Colombian designer based in Bogota; Adeju Thompson, a Nigerian designer of genderless collections, based in Lagos; Lukhanyo Mdingi from Cape Town; Dongjoon Lim, a menswear creator from Seoul and Cynthia Merhej, a Lebanese designer of womenswear based in Beirut.
“All the semi-finalists have incorporated a responsible stance in their creative vision: use of innovative or traditional materials, upcycling, recycled fibers, artisanal and local approaches. These initiatives echo the shift in the fashion and luxury industries. Among the semi-finalists, seven do womenswear, five menswear, and two do both womenswear and menswear. Six of them design genderless collections. This edition also saw the return of knitwear, body-conscious garments and the celebration of color among certain designers,” added Arnault, a senior executive within LVMH, and the only daughter of Bernard Arnault, the chairman and controlling shareholder of the giant luxury goods conglomerate.
As is the tradition, the 20 semi-finalists will be whittled down to eight finalists after April 11, who will then present their collections in person to a final jury composed of senior designers within LVMH and several senior executives. Due to the pandemic the date of the final and the announcement of the winners still has to be decided.
All told, there are five prizes: The LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers with a €300,000 endowment and benefits from a one-year bespoke mentorship program provided by a dedicated LVMH team. The Karl Lagerfeld/Special Jury Prize that rewards a young designer with €150,000 and a mentorship program. And finally three prizes for young fashion-school graduates who have completed their studies in 2020 or 2021 by allocating them, as well as their school, a €10,000 grant. The prize-winning graduates will also join the creative studio of an LVMH house for one year.
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