In our new three-episode series, Inside the Atelier, international fashion director and journalist Zadrian Smith meets five of London's most promising young design stars, who were all nominated for the BFC Foundation Award at this year's Fashion Awards. Smith is a member of the British Fashion Council's diversity and inclusion steering committee – something which he has long been an advocate for within the industry – and was involved in the selection process for this year's award nominees.
In this, our third and final episode, Smith meets Nensi Dojaka, who went on to win the BFC Foundation Award, picking up the accolade on stage at the Royal Albert Hall at the of November.
And, although the Fashion Awards marked a big night for the designer, it was not her first major accolade of the year. In fact, just a few months ago, Dojaka took home the highly coveted LVMH Prize for Young Designers, which was voted for by judges including Kim Jones, Jonathan Anderson, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs and Virgil Abloh.
The designer, and graduate of Central Saint Martins, hails from Albania but is based out of London, and has already made a name for herself in the fashion industry with her lingerie-inspired designs, those which have already been worn by the likes of Zendaya, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Hadid.
And, it sounds like she is just getting started.
"I think that there weren't that many options for women," she tells Smith of her design aesthetic. "There was only one type of dressing around for a while, and what I love is to make them feel empowered, but also keep it very fragile because that's what makes us women – we are strong, but there is also that lightness and fragility, which is something really beautiful."
Speaking to Smith about how she got into fashion design, Dojaka explains that she developed a love of art as a child, and this organically turned into an interest in designing womenswear, which just grew and grew as she studied more and worked for designers herself.
Of course, she is still learning, particularly when it comes to running her own business, and in trying to be as sustainable and diverse as she can be. But, certainly keen and eager to embrace positive change in the industry, Dojaka seems excited about what is coming next.
Above, watch the full episode of Inside The Atelier with Dojaka, and head here to see our interviews with Bethany Williams and Priya Ahluwalia, and here for Richard Quinn and Bianca Saunders.
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