While we wait for LVMH to untap the biggest new designer talent, here's a spotlight on our favourite previous winners
Designers get your portfolios ready and fashion fans get your antennae up - LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has opened applications for the seventh edition of its LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
The prestigious prize is open to designers under the age of 40 who have showcased and sold at least two collections of women’s, men’s or unisex ready-to-wear. Designers you have until 2nd Feb 2020. The judging panel consists of a selection of top LVMH designers who award the winner a cash prize of 300,000 euros and a year of coaching from experts at LVMH. The 20 semi-finalists will be revealed during Paris Fashion Week.
Launched in 2014 and spearheaded by Delphine Arnault, the second-in-command at Louis Vuitton, the prize has previously been won by Thebe Magugu (last year's winner), Grace Wales Bonner, Marine Serre and Marques’Almeida. It has also shone a spotlight on the careers of the runner-up special-prize winners, including Rokh, Jacquemus and Hood By Air. In its quest to support young talent, LVMH also rewards three graduates from fashion schools 10,000 euros and the chance to join one of the group’s luxury houses for a year.
The initiative helps drive the development and emergence of new talent, which is essential to the diversity and innovation of fashion. Here is our who’s who list of past winners as we wait for this year’s newcomers.
A South African fashion brand focusing on ready-to-wear womenswear. Based in Johannesburg, Thebe studied fashion photography and fashion media at LISOF. After winning best graduate collection and interning for a selection of fashion institutions and retailers he began his namesake label—THEBE MAGUGU. Focusing on quality, novelty and culture in his designs, the brand strives to create women’s clothing that both works with and enhances the everyday, finding new ways to achieve this through sleek design that intersects with motifs from our storied past, resulting in smart and dynamic clothes.
Established in 2012 with its first collection debuting in SS13, the brand aims to add a sense of strangeness to your daily wardrobe. Born in Gunma province in 1979, Masayuki Ino graduated from Tokyo Mode Academy school - working as head shoes and accessory designer for MIHARAYASUHIRO before launching his brand "doublet" with pattern cutter Takashi Murakami. Their designs centre around basic and classic silhouettes with a twist; think the perfect printed logo hoodie, the cool shell coat you always wanted and suiting in off proportions.
Graduating in 2016 with her Radical Call for Love collection—Marine Serre is a young French designer who graduated from the Belgian Fashion Design Academy La Cambre Mode(s). Previously working for Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Maison Martin Margiela and Raf Simons' Christian Dior. Her graduate collection combined 19th-century Arabic inspired garments - caftan, karakou, sirwal - with corporate sportswear trends of the 1990s and 2000s. The French designer works to strict environmental practices - she uses end-of-cycle product for base materials and combines them with high-tech fabrics. The outcome is contemporary sportswear with feminine silhouettes, handled with a couture-inspired sensibility. Delivering bold colour combinations, unexpected textures and off-kilter shapes and a forward-thinking new-comer to your wardrobe.
Informed by broad research including, but not limited, to critical theory, composition, literature, and historical sources, Grace graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2014, gaining an immediate cult following from her graduate collection, Afrique. The collection won her the L’Oréal Professionnel Talent Award, while her dissertation titled Black on Black achieved the Dean’s personal commendation. She joined Fashion East in AW/15 at London Collections: Men, and was awarded the Emerging Menswear Designer at the Fashion Awards In 2015. In 2019, she exhibited her first art show at the Serpentine Marathon named A Time for New Dreams curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. She also realised the first two volumes of her bi-annual publication Everythings for Real with Ditto Press. There seem to be no limits to her creative vision. Her work explores representations of black male sexuality, an exploration of identity, and the notion of fashion via a hybrid of European and African approaches. Designing contemporary menswear and womenswear her clothing is stocked in leading stores internationally including Matches, LNCC, Joyce, SSense and 10 Corso Como.
Marques’Almeida is the London-based womenswear brand founded by Portuguese design-duo and couple Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida. First meeting at CITEX fashion school in Portugal during their BA - they individually gained experience at Vivienne Westwood (Marta) and Preen (Paulo) before meeting again during their MA at Central Saint Martins. While they were at CSM they decided to join forces and submit their project together. They launched Marques’Almeida in April 2011- showing their debut collection with Fashion East. They have been awarded the NEWGEN sponsorship from the British Fashion Council/Topshop and since SS/13 have shown all their collections at LFW. They were then nominated for the Emerging Talent Womenswear Award at the British Fashion Awards in 2013 and went on to win it in 2014, which was the same year they were shortlisted for the 2014 LVMH Prize. Known for their collage-like clothing, mixed clashing prints, lots of florals, contrasting fabrications and draped silhouettes, the brand now also makes rather irresistible homeware.
Thomas Tait is a Canadian designer based in London. After completing his studies at College LaSalle in Montreal, Thomas received a place on the MA from Central Saint Martins at age 19, without having to do the rigorous interview. At 21 he was the youngest student ever to complete the MA course, and shortly after his AW/10 collection was selected to be featured at London Fashion Week, followed by his win of the inaugural Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize. He gained support from the British Fashion Council NewGen scheme, won the LVMH prize and then a BFA, named best Emerging Womenswear Designer at the 2015 British Fashion Awards. Whilst in the midst of fighting pending bankruptcy and trying to maintain his eponymous label. Showing regularly at London Fashion Week from then onwards, in 2016 the designer announced he would no longer present fashion shows, unveiling a final collection at the Almine Rech Gallery in Paris, the designer then ceased production of his brand.