With over 2,400 applicants—a record number of submissions for the coveted award—the semi-finalists of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers 2023 have been announced.
A total of 22 brands have been shortlisted for the prize, descending from 15 countries, including Nigerian fashion brand – Bloke.
BLOKE is a gender-neutral artisanal brand that introduces a unique idea of luxury through a quirky and artsy design approach, encircled by an undercurrent of spiritual consciousness. Established in 2015 by Faith Oluwajimi, the brand aims to produce thoughtfully designed clothing and accessories for both functional performance and collector use.
Bloke works closely with a small community of knitters, diverse textile artists, local artisans, and design groups in Nigeria to communicate our design language and brand ethos as a label with a quirky and artsy design aesthetic that is committed to sustainability, the preservation of long-established local artisanal practices, and uses locally sourced materials. Last year, Tokyo James was among the announced semi-finalist.
This year those chosen will display their collections at a showroom in Paris on March 2 and 3. The showcase will also feature a digital component, enabling the general public to vote from March 1 to March 5.
The votes from the expert jury will be combined with these votes. The winner of the Karl Lagerfeld Award will earn 150,000 euros and a year of mentoring, while the winner of the LVMH Prize will receive 300,000 euros and a year of mentoring from a team within the luxury conglomerate.
In a release, the director and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, and the CEO and chair of Dior, Delphine Arnault, said: “The 22 semi-finalists are all driven by a very innovative vision and also show great creative maturity. Many of them place the culture and craftsmanship of their native country at the heart of their design approach.
“Eco-responsibility is also a major stake for them as they use innovative or recycled materials, and embrace a more local and ethical production system. The fluidity between menswear and womenswear is another key feature this year, since no fewer than nine designers create genderless collections.
“Values of inclusivity and diversity showcased in the selection also echo the turn taken by the fashion and luxury industries.”
AARON ESH: Aaron Esh, the UK
ANNE ISABELLA: Anne Isabella, France
BETTTER: Julie Pelipas, Ukraine
BLOKE: Faith Oluwajimi, Nigeria
BURC AKYOL: Burc Akyol, France
CHARLIE CONSTANTINOU: Charlie Constantinou, the UK
DIOTIMA: Rachel Scott, Jamaica
JOAO MARASCHIN: Joao Maraschin, Brazil
JOHANNA PARV: Johanna Parv, Estonia
JUNTAE KIM: Juntae Kim, South Korea
KARU RESEARCH: Kartik Kumra, India
KUSIKOHC: Giseok Cho, South Korea
LOUIS SHENGTAO CHEN: Louis Shengtao Chen, China
LUAR: Raul Lopez, the US
MAGLIANO: Luca Magliano, Italy
MARRKNULL: Wei Wang and Tian Shi, China
NAMESAKE: Michael, Richard and Steve Hsieh, Taiwan
PAOLINA RUSSO: Paolina Russo, Canada, and Lucile Guilmard, France
QUIRA: Veronica Leoni, Italy
SETCHU: Satoshi Kuwata, Japan
STINARAND: Stina Randestad, Sweden
WATARU TOMINAGA: Wataru Tominaga, Japan