LVMH Prize Jury Sorely Lacks Diversity

What Happened: The LVMH Prize 2021 announced artistic director of the women’s collections at Fendi, Kim Jones, as the newest member to join its all-star panel, which already includes Virgil Abloh, Jonathan Anderson, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Delphine Arnault, Sidney Toledano, and Jean-Paul Claverie.

Chinese designer Rui Zhou is one of the finalists of the eighth edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers alongside Bianca Saunders, Charles de Vilmorin, Conner Ives, Kidsuper, Kika Vargas, Lukhanyo Mdingi, and Nensi Dojaka. The final competition takes place on September 7 at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, where the winners will be awarded €300,000 ($355,6000).

The Jing Take: The LVMH Prize is one of the most anticipated and prestigious competitions in the fashion industry. However, the jurying panel continues to show little diversity or newness. Not only do the members all come from previous editions, but the board also lacks cultural representation. There is no Asian panelist, and only one out of nine jury members is a person of color.

The Prize reveals a deep-rooted issue in fashion circles (a Eurocentric mentality), which won’t go away anytime soon. Yet, some progress has been made. For instance, this was the first year that a Chinese designer made it to the finals. Moreover, the British Fashion Council just announced its new partnership with 50:50 The Equality Project, an initiative launched by the BBC to fairly represent its audience and better reflect the world around us. Efforts from institutions and the rise of voices from non-white communities like the #BlackLivesMatter and #StopAsianHate movements have led to inclusion and diversity improvements in an industry dominated by white people.

That said, more must be done to give global talents equal opportunities to affirm their labels on the international stage. And LVMH, the influential leader in luxury fashion, should be responsible for setting an example.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.