by MR Magazine Staff
LVMH Prize

On Wednesday in Paris, LVMH announced the eight finalists for this year’s edition of the LVMH Prize. The most diverse group of designers since the award’s inception six years ago, it includes young talents representing Israel, Nigeria, and South Africa, all for the first time.

These 8 young designers will take part in the final of the LVMH Prize to be held at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. They will present their collections to the members of the jury who will choose this year’s winner.

“Each new edition brings its lot of firsts,” said Delphine Arnault, the executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and the founder of the Prize. “It goes to show the reach of the Prize on the one hand, and on the other, the reach of fashion, its ability to touch more and more people, thanks in part to the Internet. It is truly a unifying dynamic. This year we received more than 1,700 applications, a record.”

If it’s a more diverse group than ever before, there is a unifying factor, and that is sustainability. “Most of the finalists have integrated upcycling in their sourcing strategy,” said Arnault. “First and foremost, we appraise the creativity of the candidates. Naturally, if it is combined with an ethical and environmental awareness at the service of creation, then so much the better.” She continued, “This was the case at Phipps, with Spencer Phipps’s fabric sourcing and his informed approach to the environment. Or for instance with Bethany Williams, who is committed to aiding minorities through her involvement in fashion.”

The winner of the LVMH Prize will be announced in June, after the jury meets with the finalists at The Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. It will be the first jury that Karl Lagerfeld, who died last month, will not be present for. New to the panel this year is Kris Van Assche, who was named Berluti’s artistic director last year. “I am delighted to welcome Kris,” said Arnault. “He devoted a lot of time to discussing with the semi-finalists during our Paris showroom. I am certain his tremendous experience in menswear will contribute something novel to our jury.”

The 8 finalists are:

ANREALAGE by Kunihiko Morinaga (Japanese designer, based in Tokyo). Womenswear, showing in Paris.

BETHANY WILLIAMS by Bethany Williams (British designer, based in London). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in London.

BODE by Emily Adams Bode (American designer, based in New York). Menswear, showing in New York.

HED MAYNER by Hed Mayner (Israeli designer, based in Tel Aviv). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris.

KENNETH IZE by Kenneth Izedonmwen (Nigerian designer, based in Lagos). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris and Lagos.

PHIPPS by Spencer Phipps (American designer, based in Paris). Gender-neutral fashion, showing in Paris.

STEFAN COOKE by Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt (British designers, based in London). Menswear, showing in London.

THEBE MAGUGU by Thebe Magugu (South African designer, based in Johannesburg). Womenswear, showing in Johannesburg.