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Cynthia Merhej: The First Arab Woman To Be Shortlisted For An LVMH Prize

LVMH has announced its shortlist of 20 semi-finalists for the Prize for Young Designers, and of the selected designers, is the first Arab woman to be on the list. Cynthia Merhej is the Lebanese founder of the womenswear label, Renaissance Renaissance, and has just made history by being the first ever Arab woman to be shortlisted for the LVMH prize, amongst 19 others from across the globe including talents from America, Japan and Nigeria.

In light of the COVID pandemic that has swept the globe, Cynthia Merhej’s collection will be presented in a virtual showroom from April 6th – 11th on, and those logging on to the site to view the 20 collections will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite – which is a new step for the prestigious prize.

Executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and founder of the LVMH Prize, Delphine Arnault, said in a statement about the young designers prize, “I am very grateful to all the candidates from more than 110 countries for taking part in this year’s competition and I would like to congratulate the semi-finalists. All the semi-finalists have incorporated a responsible stance in their creative vision: use of innovative or traditional materials, upcycling, recycled fibers, artisanal and local approaches. These initiatives echo the shift in the fashion and luxury industries.”

$350,000 along with a year of mentorship from LVMH executives and designers, will be awarded to the winner of the 2021 LVMH Prize, whilst the winner of the Karl Lagerfeld special prize will win $175,000 USD as well as a mentorship program.

The winners will be selected by a panel that includes, 23-year-old tennis champion Naomi Osaka, the LVMH Prize’s new ambassador, and the Committee of Experts, which includes Bella Hadid and actress Lea Seydoux, among others. 

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