For the first time in its five-year history, the prestigious LVMH prize for young fashion designers has chosen two African finalists.
South Africa’s Thebe Magugu and Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize are among the eight fledgling talents in with a chance to win €300,000 (£256,870) and mentoring from the LVMH group for a whole year.
The LVMH prize was established in 2014 to help emerging designers establish themselves in the industry.
The winner will receive support for every component of their business, from distribution and production to advertising and marketing.
LVMH, or LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, is the French multinational luxury goods company that owns some of the world’s most esteemed fashion houses, including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Celine, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior and Givenchy.
The jury for the annual prize is made up of a panel of 63 industry experts, including Naomi Campbell, Dazed co-founder Jefferson Hack and make up artist Pat McGrath.
There’s also a strong contingent of designers from LVMH fashion houses, including Jonathan Anderson, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs and Clare Waight Keller, who designed The Duchess of Sussex’ wedding dress.
This year’s finalists, chosen from 1,700 applicants, are the most diverse roster of talents yet, with designers hailing from Israel, Japan and San Francisco.
Also in the running are two British names, Central Saint Martins graduate Stefan Cooke and Bethany Williams, whose eponymous brand won this year’s Queen Elizabeth II Award for Positive Change.
The Duchess of Cornwall sat in the front row of Williams’ London Fashion Week show in February to present her with the prestigious award, which was last year won by Richard Quinn.
“The diversity and the richness of the collections of the sixth edition of the LVMH Prize confirm the quality of the selection,” comments Delphine Arnault, who launched the initiative.
“This edition notably establishes the emergence of environmental and sustainable issues among the applicants.”
The winner for the LVMH Prize will be announced in June.
Source: The Independent