The Vogue Fashion Prize is back — and now strategically powered by NEOM, the giga-project located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia with a particular emphasis on fostering innovation and sustainability in the fashion sector.
The 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize seeks to lay emphasis on fostering innovation and sustainability in the fashion and design sectors at a time when it is so crucially needed. “The Fashion Prize aligns with Vogue Arabia’s mission to invest in ecosystem development and elevate the fashion and design scene in the Arab world,” comments Manuel Arnaut, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Arabia.
Returning bigger than ever before, this year’s Fashion Prize will award the winning designers substantial financial grants, retail opportunities, editorial/press, marketing, and mentorship, collectively representing nearly US $500,000 in value. The winning designer will receive placement on Net-a-Porter. What’s more: all 2020 finalists will be present at an exclusive Fashion Prize showroom during Paris Fashion Week in March 2021.
Wayne Borg, Managing Director of the Media, Entertainment, Culture, and Fashion sectors at NEOM, says, “Celebrating and promoting emerging Saudi talent is a fundamental aspect of NEOM’s mandate, along with advancing sustainability and innovation in fashion as we create a global research and development center to drive the future of fashion in terms of what we wear and how we wear it – sustainably and ethically. We are excited to collaborate with Vogue Arabia in this high-impact initiative. The Fashion Prize platform will support the incredible talent of our community and provide a path to the future of sustainable fashion.”
Since it was founded in 2015, the Fashion Prize has provided a platform for emerging regional designers to showcase their abilities, while having their work seen and critiqued by some of the industry’s biggest names who form the selection committee. The 2020 Fashion Prize committee includes Manuel Arnaut; Katie Trotter, fashion director, Vogue Arabia; Angelica Cheung, editor-in-chief, Vogue China; HH Princess Noura bint Faisal Al Saud, Fashion Commission, Saudi Ministry of Culture; Livia Firth, founder, Eco-Age and sustainability editor-at-large, Vogue Arabia; Amina Muaddi, founder and creative director, Amina Muaddi; Mohammed Ashi, founder and creative director, Ashi Studio; Farida Khelfa, international fashion model and filmmaker; fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier; and Nisreen Shocair, CEO Middle East, Yoox Net-a-Porter.
The program will be open to womenswear (ready-to-wear or couture), accessories, jewelry, and menswear designers from across the Arab world as well as the Arab diaspora. All candidates must apply via the Fashion Prize site no later than November 18. Nominees will be revealed in late November, and winners will be announced at the grand Fashion Prize event in December.
“With the strategic support of NEOM, we’re now in a position to further support our homegrown talents across a platform that encapsulates the Arab world’s potential on a global stage,” says Arnaut. “In this year’s edition, we are excited to turn the focus on sustainable fashion. Vogue Arabia was one of the first Vogues to add a sustainability editor, who will also be on this year’s selection committee.”
Previous winners of the Fashion Prize have seen their success and talent transcend the Arab world. The debut winner, Lebanese designer Hussein Bazaza, has since had his creations worn by Naomi Campbell, while 2016 ready-to-wear winner Reema Al Banna found fans in Bella Hadid and Kelly Rowland, who both sported pieces from her UAE-based label Reemami. Also worth noting are the success stories of winners Okhtein, Ralph Masri, Faissal El-Malak, Joanna Laura Constantine, and Nadine Ghosn, whose labels have gone on to be celebrity favorites.
How to apply?
Since 2015, hundreds of designers from nearly 20 countries across the Arab world have applied to the Fashion Prize. Applications for the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize are open now at fashionprize.com. Join us on the journey on social media via #VogueFashionPrize and #DiscoverNEOM
• You are over the age of 21 and currently residing in, originally from, an Arab country* or have your business principally based in the Arab world;
• You have been in business for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 8, and produced a minimum of 2 full collections during this time;
• Your collection consists of womenswear (ready-to-wear or couture), accessories, jewelry, or menswear;
• You have international or regional stockists and/or sell direct to consumer;
• You’re able to demonstrate support from regional and/or international media; and
• You’ve never won the award before.
• Note: You can apply up to 5 times. Previous finalists may also apply.
*The Arab world includes: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The Arab diaspora is also eligible.