On September 1, in a grand event in Amsterdam, Yousra Razine Mahrah was declared the winner of the prestigious Lichting 2023 fashion award. Emerging from the ranks of seven chosen alumni of Dutch fashion schools, as well as three open-call entrants, Mahrah shone the brightest.
A fresh graduate from ArtEZ University of the Arts, Mahrah took an unconventional route, entering the competition via its open-call process. Her standout collection, ‘K*tmarokkaan’, embodies her Moroccan heritage, deftly intertwining it with elements from divergent worlds. She juxtaposes sensual lingerie with parental conservatism and seamlessly integrates Berber goatskin traditions with Dutch stereotypes.
An illustrious international panel featuring Tom van der Borght, Gry Nissen, Marlo Saalmink, and Ahmad Larnes decided Mahrah’s fate. Their decision was met with resounding applause and an outpour of admiration for the deserving winner. Along with the honor, Mahrah was awarded the Lichting prize of 10,000 euros, accompanied by legal counsel from Van Kaam Advocaten, valued at 5,000 euros.
This year marked the sophomore attempt of Lichting to incorporate an open call, offering an avenue for graduates overlooked by academies to showcase their talents. From 25 hopefuls, ten exceptional designers reached the grand finale, presenting their works to the discerning eyes of the jury.
Lichting, a collaboration between Amsterdam Fashion Week and HTNK International, garners support from the Meester Koetsier Foundation and Van Kaam Advocaten. Annually, Lichting offers a platform for ten gifted graduates from Dutch fashion academies, with the vision to propel promising designers onto successful career trajectories.