Who’s in the final? You decide. The LVMH Prize – one of the most prestigious and lucrative competitions for emerging designers has announced its 20 semi-finalists and invited the public to vote on who goes through to the final.
The 2021 list is truly international and was drawn from 1,900 applications from more than 110 different countries. As well as an optimistic, future-thinking approach, on top of a focus on sustainability and a new kind of craftsmanship, there are six genderless labels on the list. “It’s exciting to see how the new generation is seizing these issues of diversity, identity and equality,” said Delphine Arnault.
London educated or based designers are strongly represented and have a good track record with the LVMH prize. Grace Wales Bonner, Marques’Almeida and Thomas Tait are all previous winners. This year, AGR, Wed, Bianca Saunders, Conner Ives and Fashion East alumnus Nensi Dojaka and Saul Nash all made the semi-final, alongside hotly-tipped international names like Charles de Vilmorin, Christopher John Rogers and Kid Super. The winner will be awarded 300,000 euros plus mentoring from LVMH’S finest minds.
The public vote is the latest evolution of the prize, which was last won by a single designer in 2019, when South African talent, Thebe Magugu triumphed. In 2020, LVMH the prize pivoted to a solidarity fund for emerging brands, in response to the Covid crisis. Instead of competing for a single main prize, the eight finalists — Ahluwalia, Casablanca, Chopova Lowena, Nicholas Daley, Peter Do, Sindiso Khumalo, Supriya Lele and Tomo Koizumi — each received 40,000 euros.
This year the public will help decide, from April 6 to 11, when the designers and their collections will be available to view on an interactive platform at LVMHprize.com. The public vote will count alongside the assessment of a panel of 70 experts, including Bella Hadid, US Harpers Bazaar editor Samira Nasr and new Chinese Vogue editor Margaret Zhang. The winner will be announced later this year.
Click here to view the full list of semi-finalists.