LVMH announces names of eight finalists for its young designer prize

The French luxury and fashion giant on Tuesday announced the names of the eight finalists of the LVMH Prize, the richest award for young fashion designers, with a top prize of 300,000 euros. These eight finalists emerged from 21 shortlisted designers who presented their latest ideas on March 2 and 3 on the ground floor of the avenue Montaigne headquarters of LVMH – the world’s largest luxury conglomerate. Their jury was composed of 40 experienced experts -  editors, critics, jewelers, makeup artists, models, DJs, retailers and style setters with long-standing careers in fashion.


Delphine Arnault and Karl Lagerfeld at the LVMH Prize cocktail - LVMH Prize

The eight finalists are Ambush by Yoon Ahn, 
Àtlein by Antonin Tron, 
Cecilie Bahnsen by Cecilie Rosted Bahnsen Jahnkoy by Maria Kazakova, 
Kozaburo by Kozaburo Akasaka, 
Marine Serre by Marine Serre, 
Molly Goddard by Molly Goddârd and 
Nabil Nayal by Nabil el-Nayal.
 
The winning designer will be chosen on June 16 by a second jury of nine designers from within the LVMH empire: Jonathan Anderson of Loewe; Maria Grazia Chiuri of Christian Dior; Nicolas Ghesquière of Louis Vuitton; Marc Jacobs; Karl Lagerfeld of Fendi; Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Kenzo, Phoebe Philo of Céline, Riccardo Tisci (formerly of Givenchy); and three senior LVMH executives - Jean-Paul Claverie, Pierre Yves Roussel and Delphine Arnault. The winner will be presented at a press conference inside the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
 
This marks the fourth edition of the LVMH prize, the brainchild of Delphine Arnault, whose father Bernard Arnault is the key shareholder and chairman of LVMH. It’s three previous winners are: Grace Wales Bonner (2016); Marta Marques & Paulo Almeida (2015) and Thomas Tait (2014).
 
Testifying to the awards geographic reach: the octet of 2017 finalists includes two Paris based designers – Atlein and Serre; two Britons based in London - Goddard and el-Nayal; two talents based in New York – Kazakova and Kozaburo – and one each from Tokyo and Copenhagen – Ambush and Bahnsen respectively. And to the award’s wide ranging aesthetic: Kazakova mingles Russian iconography with American street and sports style in her fashion; Nayal crosses edgy sportswear with Elizabethan court dress. While Akasaka showed a bravura display of fabric innovation – using Japanese sakiori recycling techniques where he recycled cut off jeans legs, shredded them into strings and wove them into new garments.

Most impressively, Kazakova - made it to the final, even though she did not make it to France for the two days of Paris presentations. This Siberian-born, but Crown Heights, New York-based designer spoke to jurors from her studio via a Skype on her Apple iPad. “I was too scared to leave New York for Paris in case they did not let me back in!” she told FashionNetwork.com, warning of President Donald Trump's immigration policies. Somehow, we suspect, she will be in Paris in June.
 

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