The LVMH Prize reveals its 20 semi-finalists
Launched by the French luxury giant of the same name in 2014, the LVMH Prize reaffirmed its success this year, receiving 1,700 applications from 110 different countries. For its seventh edition, the competition has selected 20 semi-finalists to take part in the next round on 27 and 28 February, when they will present their work before a panel made up of some 60 renowned fashion industry experts.
There are designers representing no less than 17 different nationalities at this stage of the selection process, with participants hailing from Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, France, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam and, for the first time, Argentina. The semi-finalists have therefore come from all four corners of the world, even if most have chosen to focus their activities in Europe, especially in London, where eight of them present their collections, but also in Paris – where four of the semi-finalists work – and Milan, home to one of the designers.
One noteworthy contender is French designer Ester Manas, a finalist of the 2018 Hyères Festival, who works with her partner Balthazar Delpierre to create inclusive fashion, proposing pieces with a one-size-fits-all philosophy. France will also be represented by menswear label Casablanca, founded in 2018 by Moroccan-born Charaf Tajer, co-founder of the Pigalle brand and a longtime fixture of Paris nightlife.
Other labels linked to Paris include Alled-Martinez, founded by Spanish designer Archie Alled-Martinez, who is based in the French capital, and American designer Peter Do, who is based in New York but presents his womenswear in France.
A return to women's ready-to-wear
Some of the selected designers will already be familiar to hardcore fashionistas thanks to the buzz they've created on social media, such as Japan's Tomo Koizumi, whose flamboyant designs caused a stir in New York last year. Womenswear label Area, by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszcyk, is another such label which is also closely followed during the New York season, while Rave Review, a brand founded by Josephine Berggvist and Livia Schück which recycles fabric from furnishings, emerged at Stockholm Fashion Week two years ago.
Following a string of recent editions where unisex and menswear collections dominated, this year's competition sees the emphatic return of the women's ready-to-wear category, with 14 semi-finalists competing in this segment. However, Delphine Arnault was keen to highlight the competition's balance and inclusivity, stating "our selection stands out in terms of parity, with 14 women and 14 men, each illustrating in their own way the ongoing conversation between the male and female wardrobes, the breaking down of gender barriers, and the emergence of a more inclusive mode of dressing."
The executive, who founded and now oversees the prize, also pointed out "the innovative vision" of the competition's participants, whom she described as being "resolutely focused on the future." In particular, she highlighted their research into new materials, and use of eco-textiles and recycled fibres, as well as their interest in new artisanal techniques and desire to support responsible, local manufacturing. "These initiatives speak to a growing awareness across the fashion and luxury sector, and reflect the values of environmentally conscious fashion," she concluded in a press release.
Only eight of the 20 semi-finalists will be selected for the final. Their names will be revealed during the upcoming Paris Fashion Week. The 2020 LVMH Prize will be presented on 5 June, with the winner receiving 300,000 euros and one year of personalized mentoring from a dedicated team at LVMH.
The 20 semi-finalists for the 2020 LVMH Prize:
Ahluwalia by Priya Ahluwalia
Alled-Martinez by Archie M. Alled-Martinez
Area by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk
Casablanca by Charaf Tajer
Chopova Lowena by Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena
Commission by Jin Kay, Dylan Cao and Huy Luong
Ester Manas by Ester Manas and Balthazar Delepierre
Helmstedt by Emilie Helmstedt
Kaushik Velendra SHIK VELENDRA by Kaushik Velendra
Nicholas Daley by Nicholas Daley
Nous Etudions by Romina Cardillo
Peter Do by Peter Do
Piero D’Angelo by Piero D’Angelo
Rave Review by Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück
Samuel Guì Yang by Samuel Yang and Erik Litzén
Sindiso Khumalo by Sindiso Khumalo
Supriya Lele by Supriya Lele
Tomo Koizumi by Tomotoka Koizumi
Vaqar by Shirin Vaqar and Shiva Vaqar
Yuhan Wang by Yuhan Wang
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