The LVMH Prize is the fashion industry's most storied accolade. Previous winners have included Marine Serre, Grace Wales Bonner, Marques'Almeida, Jacquemus and Hood by Air - all household names in the industry, but each with an eclectic, unique approach to their practice. In a move similar to when the art world's legendary Turner Prize was split four ways in 2019, last year's LVMH Prize fund of €300,000 (£262,000) was evenly shared between the eight finalists: Ahluwalia, Casablanca, Chopova Lowena, Nicholas Daley, Peter Do, Sindiso Khumalo, Supriya Lele and Tomo Koizumi. This year, the €300,000 endowment will go to one young designer, alongside a one-year bespoke mentorship program provided by the LVMH team.
The 2021 LVMH Prize attracted over 1,900 entries from around the world. The 20 semi-finalists reflect the increasingly diverse, global nature of the prize, with designers from China, France, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, and, for the first time, Albania and Colombia, all nominated. London designers lead the charge, with Bianca Saunders, Conner Ives, Nensi Dojaka and Saul Nash all making appearances, while genderless fashion is also on the up, as proved by six of the semi-finalists.
For the first time, the public will be given a chance to vote in the prize, alongside a panel of industry experts including editors, writers, stylists and retailers like Edward Enninful, Suzy Menkes, Jefferson Hack, Ib Kamara and Adrian Joffe. Bella Hadid is a new celebrity addition to the committee, as is French actress and fashion favourite Léa Seydoux. 'All the semi-finalists have incorporated a responsible stance in their creative vision: use of innovative or traditional materials, upcycling, recycled fibres, artisanal and local approaches. These initiatives echo the shift in the fashion and luxury industries,' said LVMH in a statement.
Below, we give you the list of all 20 semi-finalists.
The 20 Semi-Finalists
AGR by Alicia Robinson, womenswear and menswear, British designer based in London
BIANCA SAUNDERS by Bianca Saunders, menswear, British designer based in London
CHARLES DE VILMORIN by Charles de Vilmorin, genderless collections, French designer based in Paris
CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROGERS by Christopher John Rogers, womenswear, American designer based in New York
CONNER IVES by Conner Ives, womenswear, American designer based in London
FEDERICO CINA by Federico Cina, genderless collections, designer italian based in Sarsina
KIDSUPER by Colm Dillane, menswear, American designer based in New York
KIKA VARGAS by Kika Vargas, womenswear, Colombian designer based in Bogota
LAGOS SPACE PROGRAMME by Adeju Thompson, genderless collections, Nigerian designer based in Lagos
LUKHANYO MDINGI by Lukhanyo Mdingi, womenswear and menswear, South African designer based in Cape Town
MIDORIKAWA by Taku Midorikawa, genderless collections, Japanese designer based in Tokyo
NENSI DOJAKA by Nensi Dojaka, womenswear, Albanian designer based in London
POST ARCHIVE FACTION (PAF) by Dongjoon Lim, menswear, South Korean designer based in Seoul
RENAISSANCE RENAISSANCE by Cynthia Merhej, womenswear, Lebanese designer based in Beyrouth
RIER by Andreas Steiner, genderless collections, Italian designer based in Paris
RUI by Rui Zhou, genderless collections, Chinese designer based in Shanghai
SAUL NASH by Saul Nash, menswear, British designer based in London
SHUTING QIU by Shuting Qiu, womenswear, Chinese designer based in Shanghai
TAAKK by Takuya Morikawa, menswear, Japanese designer based in Tokyo
WED by Amy Trinh and Evan Phillips, womenswear, British designers based in London