LVMH creates a new Karl Lagerfeld Fashion Prize for young talent
LVMH has created a special new prize for young designers and named it after Karl Lagerfeld, whose own career was ignited by winning an award back in 1955.
The giant luxury conglomerate announced Tuesday morning that the next special jury prize award within the LVMH Prize for Young Designers will be renamed as the Karl Lagerfeld Prize. The next awards for 2019 will be presented inside the Louis Vuitton Foundation on September 4.
The ceremonies will mark the sixth edition of the pathbreaking LVMH Prize, which is decided by two tiers of judges – one industry experts, the other made up largely of LVMH group creative directors.
“Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of the House of Fendi since 1965, was involved in the Prize since its launch. He was fully committed to it since day one, transporting us with his enthusiasm and his energy. The Karl Lagerfeld Prize naturally perpetuates the closeness we developed over the years and is a tribute to the man’s unique creative genius,” said Delphine Arnault, executive vice-president of Louis Vuitton, and the driving force behind the awards, in a release.
LVMH is putting significant financial muscle behind this new prize. The giant French prestige products group revealed that the winner of the Karl Lagerfeld Prize will receive €150,000 and enjoy a one-year mentorship program provided by a dedicated LVMH team in many fields of expertise - intellectual property, sourcing, production and distribution, image and communication and marketing.
Since its creation in 2014, the LVMH Prize has been the industry’s most watched international award for young talent, and with a top award of €300,000, fashion’s single most valuable accolade.
“The Karl Lagerfeld Prize will reward one of the finalists whose creative talent has seduced the Jury,” the group stressed.
Back in early March during the Paris runway season, its panel of some 40 fashion experts whittled down the 20 semi-finalists to the eight finalists. Lagerfeld was an active jury member, who frequently attended the semi-finals politely touring every stand featuring the work of young talent. While for the final, he was known to favor designers who sketched well – which is surprisingly rarely the case – and was believed to have been highly influential in the pick of the first LVMH Prize winner, Canada’s Thomas Tait, a skilled illustrator.
Subsequent grand prize winners have included Marine Serre, Grace Wales Bonner, and Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques’Almeida; while Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver and Simon Porte Jacquemus have picked up the previously named Special Prize.
This year’s eight finalists are already being tipped as a vintage crop. They include Anrealage by Kunihiko Morinaga, a Japanese designer, based in Tokyo; two British talents, London-based Bethany Williams, and Stefan Cooke, by Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt, who show in London; plus two Americans - Emily Adams Bode, an American menswear star from New York and Spencer Phipps, an American designer, based in Paris. They join Hed Mayner from Israel; and two emerging African stars - Kenneth Izedonmwen, a Nigerian designer, based in Lagos who shows in Paris; and the highly creative Thebe Magugu, a South African designer based in Johannesburg.
Since it was launched in 2014 by the LVMH Group, the Prize has significantly boosted the recognition of young talent from all the world’s continents. Testifying to its allure in 2019, the LVMH Prize attracted over 1,700 applicants from more than 100 countries.
The LVMH Prize’s Jury for 2019 is composed of Jonathan Anderson, artistic director of Loewe; Kris Van Assche, artistic director of Berluti; Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic airector of Christian Dior Couture; Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of Louis Vuitton; Marc Jacobs, artistic director of Marc Jacobs; Clare Waight Keller, artistic director of Givenchy; Jean-Paul Claverie, advisor to Bernard Arnault and director of corporate sponsorship at LVMH; Sidney Toledano, chairman and CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group, and Delphine Arnault.
It marks the first final without the presence of both Lagerfeld and Bernard Arnault, chairman and controlling shareholder of LVMH, and Europe’s richest man.
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