After weeks of excitement and anticipation, the finale of the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize, powered by NEOM has arrived. This year’s prize returned bigger and better than ever before, highlighting sustainability at its core and looking to empower some of the region’s most talented designers. From more than 250 people across 20 countries applying to be part of the illustrious program, only 10 finalists were carefully selected.
Over the past three weeks, finalists Karim Adduchi, Yousef Akbar, Benchellal, Jude Benhalim, Born In Exile, Emergency Room, Harithand, Lama Jouni, Lurline, and Ilyes Ouali have been preparing for the final stages of the Vogue Fashion Prize.
With the immense talents of all the finalists, the jury was faced with an almost impossible decision: who out of these vast talents could win? However, a decision was made with the winner revealed at an intimate gala held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai.
The evening honored this year’s finalists and saw Moroccan couture womenswear designer Benchellal crowned as the winner of this year’s Vogue Fashion Prize. Karim Adduchi was named as first runner-up, with Lurline and Lama Jouni both placing as second runners-up.
“It was an incredible honor to receive so many applications to the Fashion Prize this year from all over the world, and to be joined by a prestigious jury featuring some of the most iconic names in the fashion industry,” said Manuel Arnaut, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Arabia. “This unique combination enabled us to continue to deliver one of Vogue Arabia’s core aims: being at the center of the fashion ecosystem in the Arab world by nurturing its emerging designers. Thank you to our partner NEOM, with whom we created a beautiful narrative around sustainability, and congratulations to all of the finalists and winners.”
“In line with NEOM’s vision of the future of fashion, the 2020 edition of the Vogue Fashion Prize has propelled the sustainable fashion agenda across the region and beyond,” said Wayne Borg, managing director of the media, entertainment, culture, and fashion sectors at NEOM. “This year’s finalists reflect both the growing talent and innovation present to reshape our approach to fashion, across the Arab world, with particular emphasis on the two finalists from Saudi Arabia. Our partnership with the Vogue Arabia team is a step toward our goal of becoming a global R&D center for sustainable and tech-enabled fashion, driving the future of what we wear and how we wear it — sustainably and ethically.”
Here is all you need to know about this year’s winners.
Moroccan designer Mohamed Benchellal has been named as the winner for the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize with his couture womenswear label Benchellal.
Holding sustainability at the core of the brand, Benchellal impressed the jury with his contemporary yet timeless designs that exude the ultimate sense of glamour. “If I win the Vogue Fashion Prize, the prize would not be for me. The prize would be for all those women who feel empowered, beautiful, and elegant dressed in Benchellal,” the designer previously said.
Benchellal will receive a financial grant valued at US $150,000, alongside editorial/press, marketing, and mentorship, as well as a placement on Net-a-Porter.
First runner-up: Karim Adduchi
Moroccan-born artist and designer Karim Adduchi is the first runner-up of this year’s prize. He presented his impressive and unique creations – drawn from the inspiration of his rich heritage – to acclaim from the jury. Karim Adduchi will receive a financial grant of US $50,000 to further develop his couture womenswear label.
Joint second runner-up: Lurline
Sisters Sarah and Siham Albinali of Saudi Arabian ready-to-wear label Lurline was named as joint second runners-up in the competition. Embracing soft goth fashion mixed with refined femininity, Lurline takes pride in its approach combining traditional and modern techniques to create their pieces, challenging preconceived notions of what Saudi fashion looks like. It’s creative and voluminous flair captured the attention of the jury. Lurline will receive a financial grant of US $25,000 to further develop its ready-to-wear brand.
Joint second runner-up: Lama Jouni
Lebanese designer Lama Jouni was also named joint second runner-up of the Vogue Fashion Prize. Since Lama Jouni’s launch in 2016, the Lebanese designer has created a series of collections inspired by music, travel, and art, and at accessible price points. Her bold yet sophisticated and contemporary designs representing the fierce yet understated woman, impressed the jury. Lama Jouni will also receive a financial grant of US $25,000 to further develop her eponymous ready-to-wear label.
The entire class of this year’s finalists will present their collections at an exclusive Fashion Prize showroom during Paris fashion week in March 2021.