LONDON, United Kingdom — Wales Bonner is the winner of this year’s LVMH Prize. The London-based label is helmed by Grace Wales Bonner and known for its gender fluid men's collections, which feature opulent beadwork. The label will receive a €300,000 grant and a year-long mentorship from executives at the French luxury conglomerate. Wales Bonner also won the British Fashion Council's emerging menswear designer award in 2015.
The winner was selected from a shortlist of eight brands: Aalto, Alyx, Brandon Maxwell, Facetasm, Koché, Vejas, Wales Bonner and Y/Project. The decision was made by a jury of industry figures, comprising designers Jonathan Anderson, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci, and Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie and Pierre-Yves Roussel of LVMH.
A Special Prize was also awarded to Vejas, the Toronto-based label helmed by 19 year-old Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski, the youngest designer to ever be nominated for the LVMH Prize. He receives a grant of €150,000 and year-long mentorship from the LVMH group.
The LVMH Prize was launched in 2014. The 2014 and 2015 Prizes were both won by London-based designers: Thomas Tait and Marques’Almeida, respectively. This year marks the third time in a row the Prize has been awarded to a London-based label helmed by graduates from Central Saint Martins.
Last year, French designer Jacquemus received a Special Prize, while in 2014 two Special Prizes were awarded to Hood by Air and Miuniku.
Stay tuned to BoF for updates, including interviews with the Prize winners and Delphine Arnault.
Disclosure: LVMH is part of a group of investors which has a minority stake in The Business of Fashion.