As the second official citizen of the Republic of Because, Nabil El-Nayal encapsulates the international spirit of the LVMH Prize and the power of fashion. Born in Syria, educated in London and creating fashion that knows no boundaries: his aesthetic might be best described as Elizabethan sportswear. Inspired by period dress and created through researching on contemporary sportswear technologies, each Nabil Nayal collection takes on the two worlds and merges them into clothes that belong to the streets.

For autumn/winter 2017, Nayal only plays with black and white in a story that’s heavily borrowing from the 1982 film Victor/Victoria. Mixing womenswear and menswear elements, the collection looks incredibly poetic, made for the unapologetically romantic, yet strong and independent women. If the LVMH Prize was the literary world, Nayal would be Lord Byron.

Here’s Nabil El-Nayal’s Because Passport application:

FULL NAME: Nabil El-Nayal

DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH: 3 October 1985 in Aleppo, Syria

BRAND: Nabil Nayal (womenswear)

BRAND’S DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH: London, late 2014


What are the places in London and Aleppo you love the most?
The drawing and study rooms at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Aleppo’s Citadel.

Syrian or British food?
A fusion of the two; I was brought up eating both.

Favourite word in Arabic/English:

Do you feel more like a British or a Syrian designer?
Definitely both.. There are no divisions – I'm a happy hybrid.

Is the feeling of belonging to a place/nation important to you?
It's not so much about belonging. I don't belong to anything and nothing belongs to me. It's more about encounters, and I have creative encounters with many different things in my life.

Follow Nabil Nayal through Instagram at The finale of the LVMH Award is being held on 16 June at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Find out more about the finalists at

Text by Dino Bonacic