Precocious, young designer Faith Oluwajimi, the mastermind behind artisanal brand BLOKE, a genderless, luxury label founded in Nigeria in 2015, was recently announced as a semi-finalist for the prestigious and highly competitive LVMH Prize. Having showcased two of his stellar collections at ARISE Fashion Week, first during the “30 Under Under: The New Stars” competition in 2020, and again during “ARISE Fashion Week & Jazz Festival: Future Forward” in February 2023, the brand is among just 22 semi-finalists selected from a record 2,400 applicants, and the only designer out of Africa to be shortlisted.
Nigerian designer Faith Oluwajimi of BLOKE Makes the LVMH Prize Semi-Finals
The award offers a grand prize of 300,000 Euros as well as a year-long mentorship from LVMH, the French conglomerate behind Louis Vuitton, Dior, Stella McCartney, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., Fendi and dozens of other luxury brands.
“The 22 semi-finalists are all driven by a very innovative vision and also show great creative maturity,” said Delphine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton and the CEO/chair of Dior. “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.”
Previous LVMH Prize winners include Wales Bonner, Marques’Almeida, Thebe Magugu and Jacquemus. Nigerian-owned brands Orange Culture, Maki Oh, Kenneth Ize and Tokyo James have all competed as semi-finalists in the past, with the latter two eventually making it to the finals but missing out on the top prize.
The LVMH Prize encourages the public to vote for their top contenders. Voting for the semi-finals will conclude on March 5th 2023. Visit www.lvmhprize.com now to vote.