LVMH Prize 2019 final set for September 4
Luxury conglomerate LVMH has pushed back the final of its much-watched LVMH Prize to September, the first time the award ceremony will take place in autumn.
The final of LVMH Prize 2019 will be staged from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 4 in Paris, though in its usual location – the Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris.
Also as usual, a total of eight finalists have made it to the final round, where they will be judged by a jury principally composed of creative directors of fashion houses owned by LVMH: Jonathan Anderson, Kris Van Assche, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Clare Waight Keller, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim; along with executives Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie et Sidney Toledano.
A spokesman for LVMH said the change of date was essentially due to the difficulty of coordinating the schedule of agenda of eight designers based in the four great fashion capitals and high-powered executives like LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault and Toledano. And, that the LVMH Prize would revert next year to its traditional date in June.
The prize is the brainchild of Delphine Arnault, eldest child of Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and the shareholder of reference of LVMH, the world’s largest chain of high-end luxury marques.
The finalists will present their fashion, ideas and concepts to the distinguished jury inside the Fondation’s auditorium; before the eventual winner is revealed to international media.
Underlining the lure of the award, this year’s prize attracted over 1,700 candidates, from over 100 countries, a record since it was launched in 2014. The lucky winner will receive a hefty prize of €300,000, plus a year’s mentoring by a dedicated LVMH team.
The eight finalists are Kunihiko Morinaga, a Japanese designer based in Tokyo who launched the brand Anrealage; Liverpool-born but London-based Bethany Williams; Emily Adams Bode of Bode, a New York menswear collection; and Israeli-born Hed Mayner, who has shown unisex collections in Paris. This year’s final also includes two African designers: Kenneth Izedonmwen, a Nigerian talent operating under the name Kenneth Ize; and Thebe Magugu, a dynamic creator from Johannesburg, South Africa. Along with two Anglo-Saxons; Spencer Phipps, an American whose Phipps collection has a masculine workerist zest; and the more experimental British brand Stefan Cooke, designed by the duo of Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt.
These eight were selected from 30 semi-finalists back in March by a noted jury of magazine editors; reviewers; influencers, retailers, e-tailers, art directors, show producers, consultants, super models, soccer stars, jewelers and, full disclosure, the author of this article.
Launched in 2014, the previous winners, including the secondary Prix Spécial award were as follows: 2018, Doublet and Rokh (Prix Spécial); 2017 Marine Serre and Kozaburo (Prix Spécial); 2016 Grace Wales Bonner and Vejas (Prix Spécial); 2015 Marques’Almeida and Jacquemus (Prix Spécial); 2014 Thomas Tait, and Hood by Air and Miuniku (Prix Spécial).
In a release, LVMH was careful to stress that it also supports several other major awards: such as the Prix de l’Association Nationale de Développement des Arts de la Mode (ANDAM) and the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie d’Hyères, and financially aids Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.
LVMH was initially criticized by some observers for allegedly creating the prize in order to build an extensive knowledge base on the next generation of designers. A criticism which is now generally regarded as unfounded, seeing as the group has never hired any of the winners to oversee a major house or project for LVMH. Indeed, the growing numbers of applicants testify to the unique attraction of the LVMH Prize, the most mediatic distinction in contemporary fashion.
Just in its fashion division, LVMH controls such great houses as: Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Celine, Loewe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Berluti, Loro Piana and Patou.
The winner of the LVMH Prize will receive €300,000 as well as personalised follow-ups with the group over the course of the next year. Three young fashion school graduates will also receive €10,000 each and will have the opportunity to join the design studio of one of LVMH’s brands.
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