Faith Oluwajimi, Design Director and Founder of Nigerian ethical genderless brand BLOKE, has been named one of twenty-two finalists for the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Prize 2023. He is the lone African on the list this year. His label is known for celebrating Nigeria’s vibrancy with ethically created items that promote inclusivity and collaboration, paving the way for cultural inquiry and avant-garde design.
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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The LVMH Award For Young Fashion Designers received a record-breaking amount of applications from all over the world for its 10th anniversary. This year, there were over 2,400 candidates, a huge increase over previous year’s 1,900.
The semi-finalists this year come from all over the world, including Ukraine, Brazil, Estonia, and Jamaica, and include three male-focused designers, eight womenswear designers, and 11 designers who exhibit their work as a combination of menswear and genderless or genderless solely.
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.
The semi-finalists, like in previous years, will showcase their work at a showroom in Paris on March 2 and 3, 2023, and supporters will be able to vote for them digitally. Throughout the show, the International Council of Experts of the LVMH Prize will go around and evaluate each presentation before selecting eight finalists to fight for the €300,000 endowment and a year of mentorship from LVMH.
Three graduating fashion students will also get €10,000 and will spend a year working in a design studio of one of the LVMH houses.