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Cecilie Bahnsen wins Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize has named Cecilie Bahnsen as the 2020 winner, marking the second time the designer has won the accolade.

The prize, one of Denmark’s biggest award for fashion design, is normally awarded to up-and-coming design talent, however, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Wessel and Vetts Foundation, which spearheads the award, decided to open up the competition to existing businesses and previous winners.

Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, initiator of the prize and board member of Wessel and Vetts Foundation, explained: “This year has been a very different year for the Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize. In the foundation, we decided early on that we would invite Danish designers who were previous winners and finalists in the Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize to participate.

“We have done this in light of how hard it is for young designers to survive in such a difficult market. Therefore, we wanted to support those who were already in the business. We believe that the award can inspire and support talented designers to find new ways to succeed. The focus this year was therefore on handling the many Covid-19-related challenges and on the necessary, sustainable adaption – without forgetting the core, the original design.”

Bahnsen, who founded her eponymous label in 2015 after studying at the Royal College of Art in London, was chosen by the jury’s 14 members based on her take on sustainability and ethical responsibility, as well as her business concept and originality of design, added the foundation.

Commenting on her win, Bahnsen, said: “My team and I are so incredibly grateful and proud to have received this year’s Magazine Du Nord Fashion Prize. Creating this brand has been the most amazing journey and I am so touched by the support we have received along the way from the foundation, the fashion industry, and all of our partners.”

Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize announces 2020 winner

As the winner, Bahnsen will receive a grant of 200,000 Danish Kroner as well as mentorship from a network of industry experts, advising on sales, production, PR, and business development.

Wedell-Wedellsborg, said: “The 14 jury members’ choice of Cecilie Bahnsen made me incredibly happy. Cecilie has, in particular, managed to adapt her design and won on both design, originality, sustainability, and her business plan.”

Cecilie Thorsmark, chief executive officer at Copenhagen Fashion Week and a member of the jury, added: “2020 has not been an easy year for any of us – and especially not for all the talented designers, we have here in Denmark. In these times where everything is constantly changing, and where we are often forced to cancel, everyone in Danish fashion is struggling to cope.

“Therefore, it is uplifting to meet ten designers who have not given up. In the finals, everyone showed how skilled they are within their craft, but also explained to the jury how they tackle the crisis, how they adjust and find new sustainable solutions. Cecilie creates unique Danish design and won due to her original collections, her work on sustainability, and her way of dealing with the crisis within the industry.”

The other nine finalists, which included a number of internationally known labels including Astrid Andersen, Brøgger, Carcel, and Mfpen, will each receive a grant of 10,000 Danish Kroner. The other finalists were Arv, Freya Dalsjø, Nikoline Liv Andersen, Maja Brix, and Sur Le Chemin.

As in previous years, the award was presented by Mary, Royal Highness Crown Princess of Denmark.

Image: courtesy of Cecilie Bahnsen

Cecilie Bahnsen
Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize