Bianca Saunders and Nensi Dojaka Shortlisted for the LVMH Prize

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Bianca Saunders fashion designer
Bianca SaundersPhotography by Jermaine Francis

Announced this morning, the final shortlist for the prestigious award spotlights nine bright young design talents from around the world

The LVMH Prize is perhaps the most anticipated of its kind – for fledgling designers and industry insiders alike. Awarding emerging talent a financial boost of $300,000, while rocketing them into the spotlight, the award has helped launch the careers of many of today’s best-loved brands, from Wales Bonner to Jacquemus.

Whittled down from a staggering 1,900 applicants to just nine finalists, this year’s pool of talent includes a trio of London-based designers – Bianca Saunders, Nensi Dojaka, and Conner Ives – plus six other designers from around the world, including Charles de Vilmorin, Christopher John Rogers, Colm Dillane, Kika Vargas, Lukhanyo Mdingi, and Rui Zhou.

Adapting to our increasingly digital worlds, this year was one of firsts for the prize – which saw 20 candidates present digitally for the semi-final, and the public invited to take part, with 32,000 people voting for their favourite designers alongside the prize’s panel of 66 experts. The nine selected finalists will present their collections to a jury in September at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and ahead of the prize LVMH-owned retailer 24S and Canadian platform SSENSE will be working with a select number of designers on exclusive capsule collections.

“I would like to salute their creativity, optimism and reactivity, and congratulate them all,” says LVMH Prize founder, Delphine Arnault. “I particularly appreciated their great know-how and their strong environmental awareness. All the members of the jury and I look forward to welcoming them for the final in September.“ Meanwhile, taking to Instagram, Bianca Saunders said, “To all the late nights and the doubting thoughts! It makes going forward and trusting my vision much more worth it ... Shout out to my Mum for always telling me to do what I want regardless of it being outside the box.”

The winners of the LVMH Prize will be announced this September.