The LVMH Prize is one of the most prestigious awards a young fashion designer can dream of winning – and this year, Nensi Dojaka will be taking home the prize.
The designer and graduate of Central Saint Martins, who hails from Albania but is based out of London, took home the 2021 edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers. She picked up the award at an in-person ceremony in Paris this week, which was attended by judges including Kim Jones, Jonathan Anderson, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs and Virgil Abloh.
Dojaka's work already has an A-list fan base which includes Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski – and she is scheduled to stage her first catwalk show during London Fashion Week next weekend. The designer is known for her lingerie-inspired designs, which the judging panel felt had a very distinctive aesthetic. She was chosen unanimously as the winner.
"For me, it’s very signature, I recognise her work immediately, which I think is very rare in the industry," Stella McCartney said about the designer. "I love that it’s a woman dressing women, obviously, but I think that she has a massive opportunity ahead of her, and with the platform and the mentoring and the money, I think that her brand really has a future."
Dojaka will receive a year of personalised mentoring from the LVMH Group plus a €300,000 grant to help her develop her brand, while all the finalists will all have the opportunity to work with LVMH-owned retailer 24S and with Ssense on a capsule collection.
There were nine finalists up for the award this year with the designers picked coming from all over the world. There were businesses from the UK, America, South Africa, China, Albania, France and Colombia all represented. They were chosen in the prize's first-ever public vote, which saw over 30,000 people take part to pick their winner out of the 20 semi-finalists.
A number of the finalists are already on the way to becoming household names. This includes Christopher John Rogers, who was worn by Vice President Kamala Harris during January's US inauguration, as well as Bianca Saunders, a British designer who has been making waves in menswear for some time. Also up for the prize were: Charles de Vilmorin, Conner Ives, KidSuper’s Colm Dillane, Kika Vargas, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Rui Zhou.
This year's event was particularly exciting as 2020's award presentation was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning a winner was never picked and all eight finalists split the prize.
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