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LVMH reveals trio of Parisian designers amongst 8 finalists for 2016 award

By Vivian Hendriksz


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The third edition of fashion conglomerate LVMH Young Fashion Designer Award includes not one, but three young designers who are based in Paris - indicating that the French capital still holds its allure for fashion design.

Together with the 5 remaining finalists, which hail from the UK, the US and Japan, the finalists will compete for a cash prize of 300,000 euros and a year of mentoring to help take their fashion business to the next level. "The list reflects the vitality of the French fashion scene and the attractiveness of Paris for designers from all over the world," said Delphine Arnault, the brain-child behind the award and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton.

LVMH announces finalists for 2016 Young Fashion Designer Prize

The trio of Parisian based designers include Christelle Kocher, Glenn Martens and Tuomas Merikoski. Kocher is a French designer who designs her label's Koché collections for both genders, combining a casual yet luxurious, near haute couture aesthetic to her work. She was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize in 2015. Martens is the Belgian creative director behind the women's and men's wear collection for Y/Project, taking inspiration from a variety of subcultures. Lastly, Merikoski, who originally hails from Finland, is the man behind women's wear label Aalto. He has collaborated with several large fashion houses, including Givenchy and Louis Vuitton and shown his ready-to-wear collection at Paris Fashion Week since Spring/Summer 2016.

The other five finalists include UK designer Grace Wales Bonner, a Central Saint Martins graduate whose graduate collection Afrique won the L’Oréal Professional Talent Award in 2014. She debuted Ebonics A/W 15 with Fashion East at London Collections: Men to critical acclaim and after her first season, she was invited to join the V&A’s prestigious Fashion in Motion programme. In addition, Wales Bonner contemporary menswear and womenswear collections are sold in international stockists including LNCC, SSense and 10 Corso Como. The other four finalists count two American designers based in New York - Matthew Williams, who designs women's wear under the label Alyx and Brandon Maxwell, who design a eponymous women's collection; 19 year old Canadian designer Veja Kruszewski, who designs collections for men and women under his Vejas label; and Japanese designer Hiromichi Ochiai, who designs under the Facetasm brand.

The eight finalists where hand selected from the 23 semi-finalists who where flown to Paris during its bi-annual fashion week to meet LVMH preselection team of 41 industry experts which include retailers, photographer, editors and models. Close to a 1,000 designers applied online for the third edition of the award which has helped boost the careers of a number of designers, including Thomas Tait, Paulo Almeida and Marta Marques, the team behind the Marques'Almeida, as well as Simon Porte Jacquemus and Nikita and Tina Sutradhar for Minunuki and Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver who were recipients of special awards from LVMH. Now nearing the final stage of the award, the finalists have been invited to come together at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris to show their work to a jury of eight fashion experts from LVMH own illustrious fashion houses.

The jury consists of Loewe artistic director Jonathan Anderson, creative director for Louis Vuitton Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Fendi's Karl Lagerfeld, Kenzo designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Celine's Phoebe Philo, Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci as well as advisor to LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie and Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and ceo of LVMH Fashion Group. Last, but not least Delphine Arnault. LVMH has facilitated the presentation of 55 designers in Paris to date since the prize was launched and given out 5 awards.

Central Saint Martins
Delphine Arnault
young fashion designer award2016