The final of the 8th edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers took place on 7th September 2021 at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, in the presence of six artistic directors from the LVMH Group, Virgil Abloh, Jonathan Anderson, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Marc Jacobs, Kim Jones and Stella McCartney, alongside Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie and Sidney Toledano.
More than 1,900 designers applied for the LVMH Prize Award, but only one won it. Nensi Dojaka, a Central Saint Martins graduate whose body-sculpting designs — a blend somewhere between clothing and lingerie — are regularly worn by celebrities as Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber, has attracted an online cult following with her skimpy yet carefully constructed asymmetrical pieces. She is also set to show her fourth runway collection at London Fashion Week later this month. According to Delphine Arnault, the executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and the mastermind behind the LVMH prize, the jury (which included Kim Jones, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Virgil Abloh,) was particularly impressed by the high quality of Dojaka’s work, her distinctive point of view and a start-up business that had successfully flourished during the challenges of the pandemic.
As winner of the LVMH Prize, Nensi Dojaka will receive a 300,000-euro endowment and will be mentored for one year by a team of LVMH experts. Dedicated LVMH teams mentor the winners in numerous fields such as sustainable development, communication, copyright and corporate legal aspects, as well as marketing and the financial management of a brand. This mentorship represents a unique and valuable opportunity for these young designers to be mentored by real experts and to thus combine creativity and commercial success.
The LVMH Prize Award is open to designers under 40 who have produced at least two ready-to-wear collections. At a time when survival for young brands is tougher than ever before, and after a three-way voting deadlock, the judges this year decided to split the runner-up Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury prize between three finalists: Rui Zhou of China, Lukhanyo Mdingi of South Africa and Colm Dillane of the New York label KidSuper. They will each receive 150,000 euros and a one-year mentorship.
Moreover, three young fashion school graduates were distinguished: Adam Kost, a graduate of Institut Français de la Mode (Paris), Franziska Simon, a graduate of Heinrich-Heine Universität (Düsseldorf) and Eric Starc, a graduate of Università Iuav di Venezia (Venice). Each will receive 10,000 euros and join the studios of three Houses of the LVMH Group for one year, respectively Louis Vuitton menswear, Dior menswear and Dior womenswear.