After its first-ever digital LVMH semi-final due to the coronavirus pandemic, the LVMH Prize for Young Designers has set a date for its 2021 finals, and yes, they will be hosted IRL. For the eighth edition, the finalist will be heading to the Louis Vuitton Foundation on Sept. 7. The class will face a panel of judges (permitting travel restrictions.) Although the judges haven’t been named yet, we imagine it’s sure to include big names in the industry. Last year Rihanna, Virgil Abloh, and Stella McCartney all sat on the panel.
Last year‘s final, you guessed it, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The prize of 300,000 euros divided among the eight finalists, making this year the return of the in-person awards. Instead of the usual eight, nine finalists hailed from around the world, including three American designers, represent the award‘s first pandemic class. Bianca Saunders, Charles de Vilmorin, Christopher John Rogers, Conner Ives, Colm Dillane, Kika Vargas, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Nensi Dojaka, and Rui Zhou will be in the running for the prize. Each designer undoubtedly was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and depict what it was like adapting and designing throughout lockdown.
In 2015, Off-White Founder Virgil Abloh was a finalist of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers, and three years later, he became the menswear designer of Louis Vuitton. So to say that the LVMH prize is life-changing is short of an understatement. The finalist all represent remarkable talent in their own right. If there’s one thing we can say about this class of designers, they aren’t here to play it safe. Daring to try bold, exciting, and maybe even questionable designs have been seen (and loved) throughout. No wonder LVMH had a hard time narrowing down the finalists.
Once the class heads to the City of Lights for the final, LVMH will choose only one designer for the grand prize winner. Another chosen finalist will take home a special prize. Stay tuned for updates as the Awards approach closer. Who will you be rooting for?