Since first announcing their Prize for Young Designers in November of last year, luxury mega conglomerate LVMH has been narrowing down competitors in the highly publicized lead up to their final decision this May 2014. From an original pool of 1,200 applicants, first 30 semifinalists and now 12 finalists have been chosen. The competition pits young under-40 designers who have at least two ready-to-wear collections under their belts against each other for the chance to win the approval of a jury comprised of the Creative Directors of eight of LVHM’s fashion houses and its corporate executives (read: a pretty tough crowd). The winner also gets 300,000 euros and a year of mentorship under the gilded wings of the LVMH empire. The benefits flow both ways, though, as the prize is an undoubtedly philanthropic way for LVMH to discover and lay claim to the best and brightest up-and-coming designer talent. Unlike other fashion prizes, LVMH’s contest was held online and was open to applicants from around the world. After the 30 semifinalists presented their lines to jurists like Raf Simmons and Nicolas Ghesquière and fashion-minded celebrities like Kanye West during Paris Fashion Week, only 12 finalists remain. With a few of The Pack’s fav designers up for the prize (Hood By Air ; Jacquemus; Simone Rocha) it’s hard to pick sides, but check out our listing and place your bets…
Julien Dossena was a senior designer at Balenciaga before beginning his Paris-based ready-to-wear fashion collective Atto with fellow design partners. With a pre-fall and resort line to their name and a passion for practical well-designed pieces, Atto has been touted as the label everyone’s been talking about.
Windsor, Ontario native Chris Gelinas, who has experience working at Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, and with Olivier Theyskens, is now striking out on his own with his line CG. Just last year Gelinas won the Made for Peroni Young Designer Award and has been hyped as a designer to watch by virtually every major fashion publication.
Accomplished Italian designer Gabriel Colangelo worked with Versace and Cavalli before launching his eponymous line in 2008. His devotion to fine fabrics and textures can be traced to his upbringing as the son of one of Italy’s premier furriers. Colangelo takes inspiration from great modern artists, attributing the themes in his most recent lines to Joachim Bandau and Barnett Newman.
Hood By Air
A Pack favourite, Shayne Oliver’s Hood By Air is a breath of fresh air on LVMH’s fairly safe list of Young Designer Prize finalists. Lolitawoolf profiled HBA’s most recent NYFW showing here, highlighting Oliver’s talent for elevating an underground aesthetic that captures the pulse of what’s happening in New York right now.
Under ‘Le Bisou‘ on France’s darling designer Simon Porte Jacquemus’ website, he proclaims that he loves Marseille, blue, white, and the 80s. The designer’s patriotic sea-side inspirations shine through in each one of his lines. Ever since Jacquemus’ Le Pull Marine top hit the pool deck in its AW2013 presentation, the brand has been riding serious cult status waves.
Sisters Tina (25) and Nikita (23) are the sisterly wunderkinds from Mumbai who make up Miuniku. With only two lines produced so far, the duo have received international attention garnering a Fashion Innovation Award from the London College of Fashion and finishing as semi-finalists in H&M’s 2014 Design Awards.
Simone Rocha is a master at her craft. She is consistently inspired by sentimentality and romance, attributing the inspiration for one of her lines to her grandmothers and another to Ed Templeton’s photos of teens kissing. She still uses craft techniques handed down from her time assisting her father John Rocha. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2010, she was chosen to show her line at Fashion East and has collaborated with TopShop. (Photos via Dazed Digital)
Suno is a well-known label from New York that sources its prints and fabrics from artisans in Kenya, India, and Peru and manages the production of its garments according to ethical management practices in factories in Kenya, Korea, and India. Designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty showcase hand-picked prints and textures every season and their devotion to their craft won them the prestigious CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear in 2013.
Montreal native Thomas Tait is a graduate of the master’s program at Central Saint Martins who has a hand in designing, cutting, and constructing each of his pieces himself. His technical talents are deftly balanced by his incredible thoughtfulness about the form and utility of his designs. In interviews, Tait conjures notions of the phenomenology of fashion and relays a poetic understanding of how garments should interact with their wearers. He received the Dorchester Fashion Prize in 2010, the same year he was among the few CSM grads chosen to show their lines at London Fashion Week.
Born in the German capital of Bonn, Tillman Lauterbach grew up in Ibiza and was schooled in Germany and Switzerland. Now Paris-based, Lauterbach’s designs are manufactured in Belgium and are geared toward men who are searching for smart, multi-functional wardrobes.
Belgian designer Tim Coppens is a graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts and has been selected as a rising designer to watch by WWD. He received the Ecco Domani Award for Best new Menswear Designer in 2012 and was a Vogue / CFDA Fashion Fund Award finalist in 2013. This year he is not only in the running for the LVMH Prize, but also the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear.
You’ve likely seen Vika Gazinskaya in countless street style snaps looking cool as hell and often alongside bff Miroslava Duma, but you may not have known that she’s a talented designer and business owner. Gazinskaya grew up modestly in Soviet Russia and latched onto fashion when the USSR collapsed and consumerism infiltrated the country. Her first designs were custom outfits for her Barbies and today she designs and manufactures her eponymous line out of Moscow.
The final decision will be announced on May 28 and LVMH is showcasing one designer per week on their website until then.
Who do you think will take the prize?