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How to Win the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize, by Previous Winners

2020 Vogue Fashion Prize: Cindy Bruna wearing the Shut earring by Vogue Fashion Prize winner Nadine Ghosn

Cindy Bruna wearing the Shut earring by Vogue Fashion Prize winner Nadine Ghosn

Vogue Arabia has announced the return of the Vogue Fashion Prize, and previous winners are on hand to offer new candidates advice and tips on how to get ahead, get noticed, and win the grand prize.

Strategically powered by NEOM, the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize seeks to find and fund promising fashion and design talents in the Arab world. Rising and established designers are invited to apply to the program, which is 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, by November 18. Chosen finalists will present their designs to this year’s selection committee, which includes some of the biggest names in the fashion industry, and the winners will be announced on December 17 at a lavish event.

Returning with its biggest edition ever, the Fashion Prize will award the winning designers direct financial grants, retail opportunities, editorial/press, marketing, and mentorship, collectively representing nearly US $500,000 in value. What’s more, the work of all 2020 finalists will also be showcased at a Fashion Prize showroom during Paris fashion week in March 2021.

“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. “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, Livia Firth, who will also be on this year’s selection committee.”

Previous winners of the Fashion Prize have gone from strength to strength with their achievements, with many becoming celebrity favorites, making regular appearances on the red carpet. Sound enticing? Here, four former winners of the Vogue Fashion Prize share their top tips for success. Good luck!

Hussein Bazaza: 2015 winner of the Vogue Fashion Prize

2015 Fashion Prize winner Hussein Bazaza. Photo: Instagram/@husseinbazaza

“The most important thing to remember would be that they are all winners, and that they have reached this stage despite all the hardships of this year. That already says a lot about their passion, talent, and perseverance.”

Top 5 tips:

1. Stay true to your identity.

2. Keep in mind being a fashion designer is a full-time job.

3. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

4. As cliche as it sounds, believe, and don’t doubt, in yourself.

5. Be consistent, improve and evolve all while keeping your identity apparent.

Reema Al Banna: 2016 ready-to-wear winner

2016 Fashion Prize Ready-to-Wear winner Reema Al Banna of Reemami. Photo: Courtesy of Reemami

“Be yourself, make sure you have a strong purpose, a strong vision, ask yourself how are you going to add to the fashion industry, and make sure you are doing it all sustainability as well!”

Top 5 tips:

1. Be prepared weeks ahead, and get a good night’s sleep, as not having a good night’s sleep for me made me mess up my presentations. Thankfully the collection spoke for itself.

2. Have a strong collection direction. Choose a niche, and make sure your collection is recognizable and unique. People should be able to point your collection out among a crowd.

3. Be ready for all kinds of feedback.  Filter the constructive feedback, turn it around, dissect it, and work on progressing your vision.

4. Apply to this award once, twice, or three times. It will help you grow your fashion network, and make you a stronger designer.

5. Be authentic and true to yourself.

Nadine Ghosn: 2017 high jewelry winner

2017 Fashion Prize high jewelry winner Nadine Ghosn. Photo: Supplied

“First of all, take a moment to appreciate being a contender – that is a huge compliment in itself. Second of all, make the most of the experience and journal everything – all emotions and all encounters!”

Top 5 tips:

1. Be yourself.

2. Explain your universe.

3. Stay true to your identity.

4. Relax and enjoy!

5. Make the most of the experience.

Ralph Masri: 2016 high jewelry winner

2016 Fashion Prize high jewelry winner Ralph Masri. Photo: Supplied

“My advice would be not to play it safe, not to worry about coming up with a winning formula, and to just trust your own instinct. Whatever you feel is the right direction is the one you should go in. Life goes on, no matter the result.”

Top 5 tips:

1. Don’t play it safe.

2. Don’t try to recreate someone else’s past success.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of good press and PR.

4. Don’t be cheap.

5. Stay out of debt.

Read Next: The Arab Designers Report: Your Guide to Supporting Local Talent

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