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ANDAM reshapes 2020 award to support French designers

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Apr 28, 2020


French fashion prize ANDAM is reshaping its 2020 edition in the wake of the coronavirus crisis to support French independent brands as it looks to “strengthen its support” of the industry.

2020 will be much more than a competition, explained organisers, instead ANDAM will act as an “accelerator of new models” as it looks to send out a “strong message” of support to the creative industry in response to the challenge times faced by the Covid-19 pandemic, while also helping “creative and innovative know-hows that will contribute to the current transformation and reinvention of the fashion industry”.

ANDAM president Guillaume Houzé said in a statement: “Powerful catalyst of the present time, ANDAM needs to be also a strong platform that will help us anticipate and solve the major stakes raised by this crisis.

“We have to support and spread all the innovations that could facilitate the emergence of new forms of expressions. Now is the time to reinvent our industry: with the creative talents, the most innovative fashion startups, the brands focusing on the common good which will make us proud. I am convinced that Paris is the best place for this challenge.”

The “classic” ANDAM Fashion Prize will be moved to next year and in its place, a special 500,000 euro endowment fund has been created to support four French labels with the help of its consortium of sponsors including Chanel, Chloé, Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, Galeries Lafayette, Hermès, Kering, Lacoste, Longchamp, LVMH, OBO, OTB, Premiere Classe, Saint Laurent, Swarovski, and Tomorrow.

“In this unprecedented and uncertain environment, the independent and integrated fashion brands, from all stages of development, will more than ever need a financial support to go through the following months and to maintain their structure alive,” explained organisers. “The ANDAM’s commitment for this edition will be at all levels in order to send a solidarity and encouragement to the entire industry.”

ANDAM creates 500,000 euro fund to support four French labels

The 500,000 euro fund will be divided among four winners, including 350,000 euros to support two former members of the ANDAM family, who have been previous finalists or winners. 200,000 euros will be made available to support an established brand generating a global turnover of more than 10 million euros, while 150,000 euros will be used to help a company with a turnover between 1 and 10 million euros.

The rest of the fund will be used to provide 100,000 euros for the Pierre Bergé Prize, which will remain for the 2020 edition, as at its core it seeks to support new fashion talents. This grant will be presented to a young French company that offers an “innovative creative vision and/or business model” that has had at least one commercial season and has a global turnover under 1 million euros in 2019.

The remaining 50,000 euros will be used to fund the Innovation Prize, which will be presented to an entrepreneur or start-up, French and international willing to develop their project in France, which offers innovative and technological solutions in the fields of fashion design, production and consumer experience that will contribute to the reinvention of the fashion industry.

Fields of application includes biomaterial, “healthy-clothes”, improvement of the carbon footprint of the supply chain, optimisation of the production process, and tracking.

In addition to providing financial contribution, the fellowship winners will also benefit from a “global and coordinated support” to help the transformation and longevity of their businesses, however, there will not be any dedicated mentor, instead, each of the ANDAM partners will be given access to a list of experts chosen to help in every field required including finance, legal, sustainability, supply chain, production, communication, digital, retail, and wholesale.

Nathalie Dufour, ANDAM’s executive director added: “By seeking the new business models and innovative technologies, ANDAM commits itself and mobilises itself to support the initiatives absolutely necessary to the mutation of our industry. am very grateful and would like to thank the French Ministry of Culture, DÉFI, and all our sponsors, which all accepted to maintain their contribution this year to offer a committed and vital support to the talents who will ensure the reinvention and continuity of the fashion industry.”

Sticking with the original calendar, the jury, including Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel and François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering, will look over the questionnaires filled in by applicants in May and June, and the awards will be made public on July 2.

The ANDAM Prize first awarded to Martin Margiela in 1989 has helped elevate numerous designers including Johanna Senyk from Wanda Nylon, Y/Project, Antonin Tron, Martin Margiela, Viktor and Rolf, Jeremy Scott and British designer Gareth Pugh, as well as last year’s recipient, Christelle Kocher, who founded luxury streetwear business, Koché.

Image: courtesy of ANDAM - 2019 winners

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