Meet the 8 Finalists for the LVMH Prize


The LVMH Prize is one of fashion’s most prestigious accolades in which an emerging fashion house is awarded the prize by a jury of luminary industry figures. This year, the judge’s panel includes Maria Grazia Chiuri, Pheobe Philo, Riccardo Tisci, JW Anderson, and Karl Lagerfeld. They have just announced their eight finalists selected from a shortlist of 21 semi-finalists. The winner will be announced on June 16th at which time he or she will receive a grant of 300,000 euros in addition to having LVMH’s vast resources at their disposal for one year. The designers being considered for 2017 are the most diverse yet, including a unisex collection and the first Danish fashion house ever to be in the running. Here, get to know each of the eight designers:


Ambush is a Tokyo based brand that makes unisex collections every season. They started in 2008 as an experimental jewelry brand, heavily inspired by pop art and underground nightlife. The brand debuted its first pret-a-porter collection in Paris in 2015, and opened a Tokyo flagship store in September 2016. They have collaborated with Louis Vuitton, Sacai, Undercover, and Maison Kitsuné.


This buzzy fashion brand is the project of Antonin Tron. He showed his first collection in the salon of his Paris apartment in the March of 2015, and CR was the first to cover it. As of last season he had doubled the size of his collection to 33 looks, and appeared on the stock lists of stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter, and The Webster. His sculptural and sleek silhouettes are reminiscent of Phoebe Philo minimalism, but the three collections he has shown so far bear his aesthetic signature.

Cecilie Bahnsen

Bahnsen was once an intern for John Galliano, and that experience definitely echoes through her collections. Her work reads as a paired down version of Galliano’s, her last collection featured frills and exaggerated silhouettes but was all white. She is the first Danish designer to be nominated for the prize, and she is pioneering a new importance being brought to Copenhagen fashion week. Last month she showed only her third collection, which will be available at Dover Street Market.


Jahnkoy, which means “new spirit village” in Crimean Tartar, is the work of Siberian designer Maria Kazakova. The menswear designer’s last show was inspired by her predominately Caribbean neighborhood of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and titled “displaced”. She built a massive set meant to mimic an urban street to present her collection with actors playing a street hustler, a peddler, and an activist, wandering the collection interacting with the audience. It remains to be seen whether she will maintain this unorthodox approach, but designers like Gosha and Demna have certainly set a precedent for Eastern European designers breaking into high fashion.


Kozaburo Akasaka presented his first collection at New York Men’s Fashion Week only this past February. The Japanese designer had previously worked as an assistant at Thom Browne. Thom Browne’s penchant for tailoring is definitely present in Akasaka’s work, but intermixed with references to musical subcultures like punk and glam rock. The designer is so new, but the polished work that earned him a finalist spot was a result of honing his craft as a graduate student at Parsons.

Marine Serre

Belgian designer Marine Serre is fresh out of school and managing her own label while simultaneously holding a position at Balenciaga. Over the course of her undergraduate work she interned for Dior under Raf Simons and at Margiela. Her last collection, “Radical Call for Love,” was inspired by Europe’s refugee crisis and Islamophobia. The collection melds elements of 19th century Arab garments with 90’s sportswear. The designer orients herself as a futurist, focusing her collections on illuminating the commonalities of divergent cultures and the contemporality of multiculturalism.

Molly Goddard

Molly Goddard has been receiving a lot of buzz in the wake of her recent TopShop collaboration, and was included in Carine’s 7 favorite looks from LFW. Her clothes have also been seen on fashion forward celebrities like Rihanna. The London designer has been showing collections since Fall of 2015, and often plays off the whimsy synonymous with British fashion. She often favors frills, ruching, tulle, and princess sleeves. Still, there is nothing demure about her clothes. She still infuses her clothes with the power and command of the modern woman, incorporating more severe elements into her poufy princess dresses.

Nabil Nayal

Nabil Nayal was shortlisted for the LVMH prize in 2015, and has returned as a finalist to this years contest. As an undergraduate he apprenticed for Burberry Prosum, and his collections have appeared in Harrods. The designer used to split his time between Syria and London, the fusion of these two cultures is present in his work. He has a passion for Elizabethan clothing in particular; he is working on his P.H.D. studying the dress of that era.

Best of luck to all the finalists!


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