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Lebanese designer makes semifinalist cut for the 2021 LVMH Prize

The LVMH Prize announces its 20 semifinalists for 2021, including Lebanese designer Cynthia Merhej...

There’s no doubt that 2020 marked a challenging year for fashion. Young talents and emerging designers have had to explore different techniques and adapt to the world’s trying times and for a handful of designers, things may change courtesy of the 2021 LVMH Prize.

Hailing from all around the globe, 20 semifinalists have just been selected to showcase their collections in a virtual showroom from April 6 – 11, and towards the end of the month, eight finalists will be declared.

This year, the diverse line-up of semifinalists includes talents from South Africa, Nigeria, China, South Korea, Japan, Albania, Colombia, the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy and last (but certainly not least), Lebanon. 

Representing the region is Cynthia Merhej – the illustrator and fashion designer currently based in Beirut – and founder of her brand, Renaissance Renaissance. Her collections are inspired by the history of clothing and some of her signature pieces are distinguished by voluminous proportions, corset-style details and wavy ruffles. 

The 20 semifinalists will reveal their collections to a panel of experts including model Bella Hadid, actress Léa Seydoux and editors Samira Nasr, Aleksandra Woroniecka and Margaret Zhang of Harper’s Bazaar U.S., French Vogue and Vogue China, respectively.

Once a winner is announced at the end of the competition, they will be awarded a cash prize of 300,000 euros (roughly Dhs1.3 million) plus a year of coaching from experts at LVMH. The winner of the runner-up Karl Lagerfeld Prize will walk away with 150,000 euros (Dhs645,000) and will also benefit from a year of professional advice. 

What makes this year’s edition even more exciting this year is that visitors will be able to vote on their favourites, marking a first for the LVMH Prize.