Casablanca, the brainchild of French-Moroccan designer Charaf Tajer and Sonia Ahmimou’s fashion label Aswad have been chosen as finalists for the grand prize and accessories prize of the 2021 ANDAM Fashion Award.
The ANDAM Fashion Award was established in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour as a joint venture between the French Ministry of Culture and the Defi Mode fashion organization in an effort to nurture young talent from Europe. The award comes with 300,000 euros ($364,996) and a year of coaching from Balenciaga chief executive officer Cédric Charbit, the president of this year’s jury.
Tajer’s buzzy Parisian label is a contender for the award, alongside a pool of talented design mavens, which include Berlin-based design duo Serhat Işık and Benjamin A. Huseby of GmbH, London-based Grace Wales Bonner, winner of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers in 2016, and New York’s Area, spearheaded by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk.
Rounding out the list are London-based womenswear designer Rok Hwang, who established his Rokh label in 2016, and London-based menswear designer Bianca Saunders.
“It is an honor to have been announced as a finalist for the Grand Prize of this year’s ANDAM Fashion Award,” wrote Tajer in a statement posted on Casablanca’s official Instagram.
“We are extremely proud to show what we have achieved so far and to display our grand ambitions for Casablanca to such a prestigious and inspirational ANDAM jury. We’re thrilled to have been nominated alongside many of our esteemed and talented designers.”
Meanwhile, Ahmimou, the Moroccan-French accessories designer who launched Aswad, her own brand of leather goods in 2016, has been nominated for the Accessories Prize, valued at 50,000 euros. Other contenders include jeweler Samuel François and Austrian studio Published By.
Finalists were chosen from more than 300 designers who applied for the award.
The 2021 ANDAM Fashion Award winners will be selected by a jury that consists of Blackpink’s Lisa, Chinese singer Chris Lee and fashion designers Kerby Jean-Raymond and Phoebe Philo, among others, on July 1.
All finalists will present their collections to the jury in Paris on that day.
Past winners include Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire and Jeremy Scott.