The return of the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize, powered by NEOM, has, so far, been nothing short of sensational. Offering the chance for emerging designers to showcase their work on a global platform, the empowering event has returned bigger than ever before, with sustainability at the core of this year’s prize.
Since its launch in 2015, the Fashion Prize has catapulted some of the most promising regional designers to stardom. With world-class industry professionals on this year’s jury, we saw more than 250 people across 20 countries apply to be part of the illustrious program. From the hundreds of talented applicants, 10 finalists have been carefully selected, each specializing in either ready-to-wear, couture, accessories, and high jewelry categories. Without further ado, Vogue Arabia presents the finalists of the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize.
Mohamed Benchellal: Benchellal
Moroccan designer Mohamed Benchellal launched his couture womenswear label Benchellal in Amsterdam in 2015. Benchellal’s atelier holds sustainable and ethical values at its core, taking an intricately handcrafted approach to each garment. Looking to establish a future of fashion where couture and sustainability go hand in hand, Benchellal has garnered international interest through his playful, contemporary, yet timeless designs.
Ibrahim Shebani: Born in Exile
German-born, Libyan designer Ibrahim Shebani was inspired to launch his luxury ready-to-wear label in 2018. Aptly named Born in Exile, the brand reflects Shebani’s experience of his family’s exile from their home country in the 1970s. His powerful designs represent a modern twist on Libya’s rich culture and folklore traditions, turning them into everyday garments.
Eric Mathieu Ritter: Emergency Room
Ready-to-wear label Emergency Room was born from the mind of designer Eric Mathieu Ritter. The Beirut-based brand launched in 2018, inspired by the necessity of sourcing a sustainable and ethical alternative to clothing creation. Each garment designed by Ritter utilizes dead-stock fabrics and unique vintage materials, forming Emergency Room’s conscious ready-to-wear collections.
Harith Hashim: Harithand
Baghdad-born, Iraqi-Lebanese designer Harith Hashim established his luxury ready-to-wear label Harithand in 2012. Hashim’s creative flair, use of couture codes, and playful ruffles bring his vision of chemistry between a woman and her clothes to life, through his elegant collections of formal daywear and evening pieces.
Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali’s namesake brand was conceived in 2016, inspired by his mother’s style. Taking inspiration from his mother’s impeccable wardrobe, Ouali redesigned eveningwear styles to represent the modern consumer, while retaining traditional feminine elegance.
Cairo-based jewelry designer Jude Benhalim founded her eponymous label with her mother and partner, Rana Alazm, in 2011. Born and raised in Egypt, the designer’s statement pieces reflect the modern women that serves as Benhalim’s muse. Finding inspiration in geometric shapes and architectural designs, Benhalim curates intricately handcrafted pieces made with the bold female spirit in mind.
Moroccan-born artist and designer Karim Adduchi launched his womenswear label in 2015 and has since seen his collections grace the runway at Paris and Amsterdam fashion weeks. Previously named on Forbes Europe and Forbes Middle East’s 30 under 30 lists as a designer to watch, Adduchi’s unique creations are recognized as examples of self-expression and globalization, often drawn from inspiration of his rich heritage.
Before establishing her eponymous ready-to-wear label, Lama Jouni trained at Balmain. Since Lama Jouni’s launch in 2016, the Lebanese designer has created a series of collections inspired by music, travel, and art, focusing on captivating silhouettes for the fierce yet understated woman.
Sarah and Siham Albinali: Lurline
Country: Saudi Arabia
Sisters Sarah and Siham Albinali launched their ready-to-wear label Lurline in 2018. Born in Saudi Arabia, Sarah and Siham bring their conception of the modern woman to life in their unconventional and daring designs. Embracing soft goth fashion mixed with refined femininity, Lurline takes pride in its approach combining traditional and modern techniques to create their timeless pieces.
Country: Saudi Arabia
Born and raised in Jeddah, Yousef Akbar has been passionate about fashion from a young age. The Saudi couturier launched his namesake label at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in 2017. The brand credits its foundations to creating ethical and responsible garments, infused with elegance and femininity, made by using recycled materials.