PARIS — Enlarging its mission alongside some powerful new partners, French fashion prize ANDAM is out to arm future winners with an arsenal of business skills, in addition to funding.
Marking its 25th anniversary this year, ANDAM is leveraging all its corporate partners to provide winners and finalists with precious know-how about everything from strategic planning and digital marketing to image building.
Kering — the parent of Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron and other brands —is among new sponsors to the prize, with chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault committing himself to “help the winner develop his or her brand with guidance both from a creative and from a business point of view.”
“Besides personal exchanges, opening the doors of some of our brands and having him or her meet with our best experts in the key fields of the fashion industry are the best ways to help a young designer to strengthen his or her project,” he added.
Pinault succeeds Diesel chief Renzo Rosso as mentor for the 2014 winner and is to provide guidance for two years on matters including financial, legal, marketing, communications and production.
MAC Cosmetics is also on board, and has pledged to provide all nominees with makeup artistry support for runway shows and fashion shoots, along with assistance on image building.
John Demsey, group president of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., said MAC would also offer “networking opportunities to help each designer reach their full potential to succeed in the global fashion industry.”
Tomorrow, which operates showrooms in Milan, Paris and London, is a third new sponsor, joining longtime partners including Swarovski, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Hudson’s Bay Co., Longchamp, Galeries Lafayette and Fashion GPS.
Founded in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour, with the support of the French culture and industry ministries and with former YSL couture boss Pierre Bergé as president, ANDAM has been a springboard for an array of designers that would go on to achieve international recognition, including Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire, Jeremy Scott, Gareth Pugh and, most recently, Alexandre Mattiussi.
Dufour said the prize must reflect a changed and more professionalized industry, more reliant on marketing, production and distribution expertise — and not only exalt creative gusto.
“We want to help winners gain a competitive advantage on the international market,” she said in an interview. “We have to be on the offensive.”
The ultimate goal is to attract talented designers of any nationality to set up shop in Paris, a hub of specialty ateliers and a beacon for international press and buyers, she added.
Bergé said the industry at large bears responsibility to rise to the “double challenge” of fostering a new generation of designers in Paris “and of the sustainability of the French fashion industry and its inherent know-how.”
The grand ANDAM prize offers an endowment of 250,000 euros, or $338,500 at current exchange, while its First Collections prize, valued at 75,000 euros, or $101,500, is for young companies already established in France.
Nominees for the 2014 edition are to be disclosed in March, with the winner revealed in July.
Dufour noted ANDAM, the French acronym for the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts, would mark its silver anniversary with a retrospective exhibition at Galeries Lafayette’s art space, Galerie des Galeries, a party during Paris Fashion Week this fall, plus other collaborations with sponsors and previous winners.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast