2021 Andam Fashion Award: Moroccan designers nominated for prestigious French prize

Casablanca by Charaf Tajer and Aswad by Sonia Ahmimou are in the running for the award

Charaf Tajer, left, is behind the label Casablanca, which is known for its bold prints, right. Instagram 
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The finalists have been named for the 2021 Andam Fashion Award and it includes Casablanca by designer Charaf Tajer and Aswad by Sonia Ahmimou, both of whom are French-Moroccan.

Casablanca is among seven finalists for the Grand Prize, which comes with €300,000 ($364,996) and a year-long mentorship with Balenciaga chief executive Cedric Charbit.

Other nominees include British label Wales Bonner; unisex brand Ludovic de Saint Sernin; Area, known for its Swarovski-encrusted designs; menswear designer Bianca Saunders; Rokh by Rok Hwang; and GmbH, helmed by Serhat Isik and Benjamin A Huseby.

Ahmimou’s Aswad will compete in the accessories category for a €50,000 prize that comes with a mentorship under Swarovski’s creative director Giovanna Engelbert.

The brand is one of three nominated and will go up against French jeweller Samuel Francois and Austrian studio Published By.

“It is an honour to have been announced as a finalist for the Grand Prize of this year’s Andam Fashion Award,” Tajer wrote on Casablanca’s 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.”

The Andam Fashion Award was created in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour as a joint venture between the French Ministry of Culture and fashion organisation Deli Mode in an effort to help nurture young talent from Europe.

Finalists for this year's event were chosen from more than 300 designers who applied for the award.

This year's winners will be selected by a jury that consists of K-pop band Blackpink's Lisa, Chinese singer Chris Lee and fashion designers Kerby Jean-Raymond and Phoebe Philo, among others, on Thursday, July 1.

All finalists will present their collections to the jury in Paris on the day. Past winners include Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf and Jeremy Scott.