Nensi Dojaka, the Albanian designer who blurs the line between underwear and eveningwear with her deconstructed, sheer dresses, is the winner of this year's LVMH Prize.
The Fashion East alum and Central Saint Martins graduate launched her eponymous label in 2017, while completing her BA at London College of Fashion. Since then, Dojaka has accumulated an impressive fanbase of Instagram style influencers including Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Adwoa Aboah.
Dojaka's oft-imitated designs convey both softness and strength. Layers of barely-there tulle and organza are painstakingly draped into second-skin-like bodysuits and mini-dresses that contour the body in unexpected ways — delicate straps zig-zag across the body while asymmetric, French-seamed paneling strategically reveals and conceals.
Dojaka is one of several au courant labels — including Rui Zhou, Charlotte Knowles, and Isa Boulder — subverting conventional notions of sexiness with unorthodox ways of highlighting the body.
"I was a bit surprised because everyone was just so good," Dojaka said over the phone of her win, referring to a formidable cohort of finalists including Bianca Saunders, Christopher John Rogers, and Kika Vargas. "I think [the jury] liked the fact that I have a unique point of view and that [the brand] is also commercial in a way," she adds.
As for the future of her label, Dojaka plans on using the LVMH Prize — a €300,000 grant and year-long LVMH mentorship — to expand her team as well as her product offering. Nensi Dojaka accessories might be on the horizon, so keep your eyes peeled.
Joining Dojaka in the winner's circle are this year's Karl Lagerfeld Prize recipients: Colm Dillane of KidSuper, Lukhanyo Mdingi, and Rui Zhou of Rui.