Congratulations are in order for Faith Oluwajimi, Creative Director and Founder of Nigerian ethical genderless brand BLOKE, one of the shortlisted twenty-two finalists for the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Prize 2023. He is the only African to appear on this year’s list. His brand is known to celebrate the vibrancy of Nigeria with ethically made garments that promote inclusivity and collaboration, forging a path of cultural exploration and avant-garde fashion.
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He took to his Instagram to share the good news:
I’m really humbled to be the only African designer representing Africa and its diaspora as an LVMH prize 2023 finalist.
This is a wild dream unfolding for my teenage self who has been driven to date by a lot of incessant seemingly crazy ideas and aspirations without formal design training fueled by sheer tenacity and unrelenting passion for design as a medium for self-expression.
I hope this inspires kids who look like me from places I’m from to keep the dream alive and keep reaching for the stars.
This is for me, you and every single dreamer out there, keep dreaming and pushing those boundaries even when it feels like a lonely unthreaded path.
Thank you, to my team at BLOKE for their unrelenting support and dedication to our vision as a label.
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For its 10th anniversary, the LVMH Prize For Young Fashion Designers received a record-breaking number of applications from all around the world. There were over 2,400 candidates this year, a significant increase over last year’s 1,900.
This year’s semi-finalists hail from all over the world, including Ukraine, Brazil, Estonia, and Jamaica, and in the mix are three menswear-focused designers, eight womenswear designers, and 11 designers who present their work either as a combination of menswear and genderless or genderless only.
According to the Director and Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton, Delphine Arnault:
All the semi-finalists are anchored in today’s world. The increasing amount of genderless collections is a major trend, especially for the young generation. For us and for all the experts to consider our business in terms of creation, production, or retail, and help us challenge the boundaries of innovation and creativity.
In 2020, we had to adapt and rethink the way we show the designer’s work. Over the last three years, the candidates’ profiles have evolved and they all have shown great ability in adapting to this new world: they have e-commerce sites, are present on social media, and they all embrace an approach to creating and producing that takes into account the challenges of our industry.
Like years past, the semi-finalists will present their work at a showroom in Paris on March 2 and 3 of 2023, and their supporters will be able to vote for them digitally. During the show, the International Committee of Experts of the LVMH Prize will walk around to observe each presentation and ultimately select eight finalists who will go on to compete for the €300,000 endowment and a year-long mentorship by LVMH.
Three graduating fashion students will also be rewarded €10,000 and will join a design studio of one of the LVMH houses for a year.
BNS wishes him all the best!