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SA’s Lukhanyo Mdingi is Lvmh Prize finalist

MPHO RANTAO

Lukhanyo Mdingi

THE top nine finalists for fashion’s coveted LVMH Prize have been announced, and in a first for the award, the finalists are designers from across the world. 

USA, England, France, South Africa, China, Albania and Colombia are the countries represented by each finalist, with Albania and Colombia being featured for the first time in an LVMH Prize. 

The finalists were announced after LVMH held a public vote and, for the first time, a virtual showroom which was available to both the LVMH judging panel and the public. 

South Africa’s Lukhanyo Mdingi is included as a finalist in his first entry for the prize, following the likes of Thebe Magugu who won in 2019. 

Work by Lukhanyo Mdingi. Picture: LVMH

The winner of the LVMH Prize will receive a €300,000 prize and a year of mentorship from the LVMH. 

Mdingi joins the group of: Bianca Saunders, Charles de Vilmorin, Christopher John Rogers, Conner Ives, KidSuper’s Colm Dillane, Kika Vargas, Nensi Dojaka, and Rui’s Rui Zhou. 

Delphine Arnault, executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and founder of the LVMH Prize, told Vogue that the finalists for the 2021 prize were a great representation of the optimism and creativity that exists in a changing world.

“This class of nine finalists is a wonderful snapshot of today’s and tomorrow’s fashion. These young designers are all talented, of course, but also committed and realists. During this semi-final, each of them showed in their own way a very personal and accomplished creative universe,” said Arnault. 

READ:  Lukhanyo Mdingi semi-finalist for LVMH 2021

Arnault also spoke of the difficulty of shortlisting the candidates from curating the top 20 list to the list of finalists, a list that Arnault said had to be increased after the LVMH panel were convinced by over 32 000 public votes for the top 20. 

“The quality of the semi-finalists was such that the committee of experts could not decide between them.”

Another first for the LVMH is that the committee will be working with two retail companies, their own 24S and e-commerce site Ssense, to create capsule collections for the public. The inclusion of Ssense, is the first collaboration between LVMH, an e-commerce site and designers to create exclusive collections. 

Arnault also expressed her wishes for the entire judging panel and the finalists to hopefully meet face-to-face in Paris, due to current pandemic limitations, in order to hand over the prize. 

“We hope that the evolving conditions will allow us to all meet in September at the Louis Vuitton Fondation. This gathering of the candidates and the jury is always a very powerful moment,” said Arnault.

“For young designers, meeting the members of such a jury, made up of talents from the most famous fashion houses in the world, is essential: The finalists of previous years all tell us how key that moment proved to be for their career and journey.” 

By The African Mirror

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