The Judges

Hirofumi Kurino

Hirofumi Kurino, world renowned ambassador of Japanese fashion, is the co-founder and current senior advisor for creative direction at United Arrows, one of Japan’s leading retail groups. With a network of over 250 fashion boutiques across Japan, United Arrows is globally respected as one of the best specialty retail destinations on the planet.

Born in New York and raised in Tokyo, Kurino is the recipient of an honorable fellowship from Royal College of Art in London, has been named both one of the most influential 500 persons in the industry by the Business of Fashion, and one of the most elegant men by Vogue. Since 2014 he has been on the jury for the LVMH prize.

Dakore Egbuson-Akande

Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria, Dakore Egbuson-Akande is a well-known, loved and respected name in the African entertainment industry. Since her 1999 lead debut in Nollywood classic “Silent Tears”, Dakore has starred in over 100 films and is a current jury member of “Nollywood in Hollywood”, a USC-partnered platform that exports curated Nigerian content to the world.

In 2018, Dakore was named one of the Most Influential People of African Descent, recognised by the UN. She has also partnered with the UN in their campaign for girl-child education and, last year, Dakore joined the European Union during the 16-day activism initiative against gender-based violence. Today, she is a multiple award-winning film/stage actor, TV personality, vocalist/dancer and humanitarian.

Simone Cipriani

Simone Cipriani is the Chief Technical Officer of the Ethical Fashion Initiative and the Chairperson of the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion. A leather and footwear industry expert with international experience, Simone Cipriani relocated to Ethiopia alongside a UN agency to develop the country’s local leather industry. Shortly after, Cipriani visited the Korogocho slum in Nairobi where, after being introduced to the skilled artisans in the community, he saw an opportunity to link artisan craftsmanship to the global fashion industry for mutual benefit. The Ethical Fashion Initiative came to life in 2009 in Kenya and gradually, the project has expanded across Africa and Central Asia.

Today, through his work at EFI, Simone Cipriani has become a key spokesperson at the forefront of the growing global movement for ethical supply chains in the fashion industry.