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23 upcoming labels short-listed for LVMH Prize for Young Designers 2016

By May-Anne Oltmans


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French luxury fashion group LVMH has announced the 23 semifinalists of the annual LVMH Prize for Young Designers. The upcoming designers were selected by a jury consisting of professionals from the fashion industry, such as Harper’s Bazaar US editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey and fashion consultant Katherine Ross, and stand the chance of winning a 300.0000 euro grant as well as a year of coaching. The pool of semifinalists includes designer Tuomas Merikoski (label: Aalto), Alex Mullins (Alex Mullins), Matthew Williams (Alyx), Astrid Andersen (Astrid Andersen), Brandon Maxwell (Brandon Maxwell), Caitlin Price (Caitlin Price), Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty (Cottweiler), Hiromichi Ochiai (Facetasm), Feng Chen Wang (Feng Chen Wang), Christelle Kocher (Koche), Yuko Koike (Yuko Koike), Julia Männistö (Männistö), Melitta Baumeister (Melitta Baumeister), Mikio Sakabe (Mikio Sakabe), Moto Guo (Moto Guo), Min Liu (Ms Min), Soshi Otsuki (Soshi Otsuki), Vejas Kruszewski (Vejas), Shirin and Shiva Vaqar (Vaqar), Grace Wales Bonner (Wales Bonner), Johanna Senyk (Wanda Nylon), Xuzhi Chen (Xu Zhi) and Glenn Martens (Y/Project).

”What struck me this year, in terms of geography, is the continuous opening up of Asia,” said Delphine Arnault, Louis Vuitton’s Vice President and the driving force behind the competition, in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). “Young Chinese designers have matured in a very short time. We selected three of them. A new generation of Japanese designers is also rising, and four of them are represented in this edition. Malaysia is in our final selection, too. We also received very interesting new entries from India, South Korea and Hong Kong, which you shall certainly hear about in the coming editions of the LVMH Prize.” Amongst the semifinalists are ten designers who have specialized in womenswear, six whose focus lies with menswear with the remaining designers designing fashion for both men and women.

”I am incredibly honored to be short-listed for this year’s LVMH Prize, an institution devoted to supporting young, emerging designers,” commented Brandon Maxwell, designer of the eponymous label, on Vogue.com. According to the American designer, being selected as a semifinalist not only acts as a form of recognition but also provides him with an opportunity to further stimulate his label’s success.

LVMH received over 1.000 applications, from which it selected these 23 talented designers whose roots lie in eleven different countries, including Iran, France and the United States. Two of the designers shortlisted, namely Andersen and Kocher, have the honour of making it to the shortlist once more. The other contestants are all new to the competition which LVMH first organized in 2013, and which has helped previous winners Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida (Marques’Almeida) and Thomas Tait boost their career.

The 23 semifinalists are invited to visit the LVMH headquarters in Paris on March 2 and 3, where the a committee will announce eight finalists. In June, the final eight designers are set to present their work at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in front of eight creative directors of LVMH, including Fendi’s Karl Lagerfeld en Riccardo Tisci from Givenchy, who will then announce the winner of the 2016 edition of the LVMH Prize.