The Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) competition for 2021 got off to a great start with 1,900 fashion brands applying from all over the world. The numbers have been trimmed and only 20 brands made the semi-finalist cut. 2 of the brands are from Nigeria and South Africa respectively.
The 20 semi-finalists are AGR’s Alicia Robinson (UK), Bianca Saunders (UK), Charles de Vilmorin (France), Christopher John Rogers (US), Conner Ives (UK), Frederico Cina (Italy), KidSuper’s Colm Dillane (US), Kika Vargas (Columbia), Lagos Space Programme’s Adeju Thompson (Lagos, Nigeria), Lukhanyo Mdingi (South Africa), Midorikawa Official’s Taku Midorikawa (Japan).
Nensi Dojaka (UK), Post Archive Faction’s Dongjoon Lim (South Korea), Renaissance Renaissance’s Cynthia Mehrej (Lebanon and France), Rier’s Andreas Steiner (France), Rui’s Rui Zhou (China), Saul Nash (UK), Shuting Qiu (China), Taakk’s Takuya Morikawa (Japan), and Wed’s Evan Phillips and Amy Trinh (UK).
The African brands among the semi-finalists are Lagos Space Programme (LSP) and Lukhanyo Mdingi. LSP is best described as an ethical movement that values teamwork and craftsmanship. Started by 30-year old Adeju Thompson, the fashion brand digs deep into African culture, heritage and community.
One of its collections is based on the workwear of the babalawo of the Yorubas. The collection’s looks connect to the mannerism, dressing and culture of this sect of ancient folk.
S/A’s Lukhanyo Mdingi is an eponymous fashion brand founded by Lukahnyo Mdingi. This brand’s collections try to break down gender constructs by using masculine tailoring for women and long flowing silk fabrics on men.
LVMH was formed in 1987 by Henri Racamier and Alain Chevalier through the merger of Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennesy. The company has about 70 brands under its group including Rihanna’s Fendi, Christian Dior and Sephora. The LVMH competition is a yearly one and the winner takes the 300,000 Euros cash prize.
2020 was different in the history of the competition as all 8 finalists split the cash prize equally among themselves. This year, the 20 semi-finalists will be trimmed further into 8 finalists, who will then participate in the last leg of the competition in Paris.
The winner receives the cash prize as well as mentorship from a team of LVMH experts for 1 year. The winner of the Karl Lagerfeld special prize will receive a 150,000-euro sum and a year of mentorship as well.