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PARIS, France – This morning, the shortlist was announced for the fourth annual LVMH Prize, an award that grants a young fashion designer €300,000 and a year of mentorship from executives at the luxury conglomerate.
21 designers from 14 countries have been selected. The shortlist is heavily weighted to British designers (including Charles Jeffrey, Dilara Findikoglu, Molly Goddard and Martine Rose), which is unsurprising as each previous winner has been a London-based designer and alumna of Central Saint Martins. The shortlist also sees designers from further afield, including New Zealand (Maggie Marilyn) and Taiwan (Angus Chiang). It also represents a diverse mix of aesthetics and the first time menswear designers (10) have outnumbered womenswear designers (nine), with two unisex designers also in the mix.
"This year, two distinct characteristics stand out among the propositions of the candidates,” said Delphine Arnault, who conceived the prize in 2014. “First, streetwear in various forms influences many collections; and second, the gender diversity of the designs is emblematic of this edition. Boldness is the keyword of the creations of these 21 young designers."
The award also comes a few days after the conglomerate launched an "LVMH Innovation Award", which is for start-up companies created less than five years ago whose most recent valuation is less than $100 million, and whose business has a connection with LVMH Group sectors and the issues they address. 32 start-ups will be shortlisted and invited to showcase in the LVMH Lab during the 2017 edition of Viva Technology, a technology convention held in Paris. It is a clear indication of LVMH's values (tech innovation), compared to Kering's emphasis on sustainability.
Boldness is the keyword of the creations of these 21 young designers.
Each of the shortlisted designers will show their work in the LVMH showroom during Paris Fashion Week and will be whittled down to eight finalists by 45 international experts, before facing a jury which includes Karl Lagerfeld, Phoebe Philo, Jonathan Anderson, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci and Delphine Arnault.
Previous winners of the prize have been Thomas Tait (2014), Marques’Almeida (2015) and Wales Bonner (2016) — Vejas, Hood by Air and Jacquemus were all winners of the runner-up Special Prize and have gone on to achieve considerable success too. The winner of the 2017 prize will be announced on June 16. — Osman Ahmed
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