For young fashion designers, having the opportunity to win €300,000 and one year's worth of mentorship from the world's leading insiders would be a dream. For 20 young hopefuls, that grand prize could be a reality. Under Louis Vuitton's Delphine Arnault's supervision, the LVMH semi-finalists will meet with 48 experts, who will decide in March the eight finalists. The winner will join previous victors like Grace Wales Bonner (2016).
From the classically elegant designs of Magda Butrym, to the vaguely-American-90's-streetwear pieces by OTTOLINGER, LVMH has chosen a range of international designers who largely all share one common thread of thought: gender-neutral style.
“The innovation in the designs of these 20 nominees is consistent with the way fashion is changing: streetwear is having a breakthrough moment and is starting to be seen in wardrobes that play with genres, a wardrobe that is as much masculine as feminine," reports VOGUE Paris, quoting Arnault's views on the current pool.
Like semi-finalist Snow Xue Gao's collection last week, which showed masculine suiting juxtaposed with more classically feminine Qipao fabrics, it's clear that young design is fed-up with archaic theories of gender.
Committee members and judges including Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Clare Waight Keller, Haider Ackermann, and Sidney Toledano will all no doubt bring invaluable insight. Is this the next big disruption of fashion? Let's see where LVMH takes fashion next.
Here is the complete 20 semi-finalists list:
- A-COLD-WALL by Samuel Ross
- AKIKOAOKI by Akiko Aoki
- BOTTER by Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh
- CHARLES JEFFREY LOVERBOY by Charles Jeffrey
- DOUBLET by Masayuki Ino
- ECKHAUS LATTA by Zoe Latta & Mike Eckhaus
- EDDA by Edda Gimnes
- ERNEST W. BAKER by Reid Baker & Ines Amorim
- FAUSTINE STEINMETZ by Faustine Steinmetz
- GMBH by Serhat Isik & Benjamin Alexander Huseby
- KWAIDAN EDITIONS by Léa Dickely & Hung La
- LUDOVIC DE SAINT SERNIN by Ludovic de Saint Sernin