The 2019 LVMH Prize Finalists Represent Inclusivity and Diversity

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The eight finalists to be considered for this year’s LVMH Prize for Young Designers reflect the industry’s efforts to create an inclusive and progressive global community. Out of the 1,700 applicants for the sixth edition of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton design competition, the eight selected make up the most diverse group of finalists to date. They represent seven different countries, with designers from Nigeria, South Africa, and Israel earning a spot in the final round for the first time. There was also a gesture towards gender-inclusive fashion reflected by the chosen finalists, four of which presented gender-neutral collections along with two womenswear designers and two menswear designers. Themes around environmental and sustainable issues were present among the applicants, too.

The talented finalists are Anrealage, designed by Kunihiko Morinaga, Bethany Williams, Bode, designed by Emily Adams Bode, Hed Mayner, Kenneth Ize, designed by Kenneth Izedonmwen, Phipps, designed by Spencer Phipps, Stefan Cooke, designed by Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt, and Thebe Magugu.

Selected by 63 fashion industry experts who include journalists, stylists, and buyers, the finalists compete for 300,000 euros and a year of mentorship from members within the LVMH group. The designers will be hosted at the Foundation Louis Vuitton in June, where they will present their collections to the 11 esteemed members of the jury who will determine the winner. The LVMH members that comprise the jury include designers at fashion’s top houses including Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson, Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, and, for the first time, Berluti’s Kris Van Assche. It will also be the first time that Karl Lagerfeld, who died in February, will not be on the jury.

Earning the Prize is a major achievement, giving up-and-coming designers the resources to grow their brand and claim a place in the industry. Past winners who are now names to watch during fashion week include Doublet, Marine Serre, and Grace Wales Bonner. Other distinguished designers who were awarded the Special Prize for their edition of the competition are Rokh, Vejas, Hood by Air, and Jacquemus. The success stories from past winners and finalists show the monumental impact that the LVMH Prize has on designers who aim to become driving forces in the industry.

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