More budding designers have their eye on the prize than ever.
Marking its 10th anniversary with the 2023 edition, the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers has selected 22 semifinalists from a record number of applicants — more than 2,400.
“It is a source of great pride for all of us to see that the prize is now an essential vehicle for identifying and highlighting creative talent all over the world,” said Delphine Arnault, the force behind the prize initiative and a key talent scout at family-controlled luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
She noted that the outpouring of interest “confirms the international resonance of the prize.”
Indeed, the semifinalists hail from all over the world: Canada, China, South Korea, Estonia, the U.S., France, India , Italy, Japan, Nigeria, the U.K., Taiwan, Sweden and, for the first time, Brazil and Jamaica.
“We are also very happy to welcome a Ukrainian candidate, Julie Pelipas, with her upcycling brand Bettter, among the 22 semifinalists,” added Arnault, who started earlier this month as chairman and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture.
The annual design prize has helped propel the careers of such talents as Marine Serre, Nensi Dojaka, Thebe Magugu, Simon Porte Jacquemus and Grace Wales Bonner.
The main victor receives a 300,000-euro endowment and mentorship by LVMH teams in such areas as sustainability, communications, marketing, legal, production and finance. The winner of the Karl Lagerfeld Prize receives a 150,000-euro allocation plus one year of mentorship from LVMH experts.
To qualify, designers must be between the ages of 18 and 40 and have at least two commercialized womenswear, menswear or genderless collections under their belt.
The semifinalists are to gather at a showroom in Paris on March 2 and 3 during fashion week to present their collections to the press and to the prize’s committee of experts, who will vote to select eight finalists.
“In our profession, nothing replaces being able to meet the candidates in person and to be as close as possible to see, touch and understand their creations,” Arnault remarked. “These meetings and exchanges with the semifinalists and the experts are always moments of great enrichment. We are very happy to gather for this latest edition of the prize to celebrate creativity.”
New experts on the committee include casting director Piergiorgio Del Moro, Vogue editors Tiffany Godoy and Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, stylists Harry Lambert and Law Roach, and Lina Kutsovskaya, founder and creative director of Be Good Studios.
The general public is also invited to discover the designers and vote for their favorite collection on the Lvmhprize.com website.
After a 2022 edition dominated by menswear, no fewer than nine of the 2023 semifinalists create genderless designs.
“For 10 years, the prize has mirrored developments in society, and therefore in our industry. We have seen the emergence of craftsmanship, streetwear, upcycling… and also genderless, a trend that is confirmed,” Arnault told WWD. “It’s true that in the first years, most of the candidates presented womenswear collections. This has changed a lot: Candidate submissions are now split between proposals for womenswear, menwear and genderless collections. Some candidates even present two or three collections. This demonstrates that fashion is in perpetual evolution, and that creativity is alive.
“The prize helps all of us in the luxury industry to think about and reflect on these issues, so relevant for younger generations,” she added.
Arnault also highlighted that eco responsibility is a major priority for semifinalists, many of whom use recycled materials and favor local and ethical production methods.
Many also exalt the culture and craftsmanship of their native lands, and embed values of inclusivity and diversity in their designs and communications. The executive also touted the impressive “creative maturity” of the 22 young semifinalists.
The 2023 LVMH Prize also distinguishes three fashion school graduates. Each will receive 10,000 euros and join the design studio of a house within LVMH, whose fashion brands include Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, Givenchy, Fendi, Loewe, Marc Jacobs and Emilio Pucci. Online applications for the student prizes remain open until March 19.
A jury made up of LVMH’s famous creative directors will ultimately select the victors ahead of a prize ceremony later this year.
Below is a complete list of the designer semifinalists for the LVMH Prize:
Aaron Esh, U.K.
Charlie Constantinou, U.K. (also genderless)
Joao Maraschin, Brazil (also womenswear)
Karu Research by Kartik Kumra, India
Magliano by Luca Magliano, Italy
Namesake by Michael, Richard and Steve Hsieh, Taiwan (also genderless)
Anne Isabella, France
Bettter by Julie Pelipas, Ukraine
Diotima by Rachel Scott, Jamaica
Johanna Parv, Estonia
Louis Shengtao Chen, China
Paolina Russo by Paolina Russo, Canada, and Lucile Guilmard, France
Quira by Veronica Leoni, Italy
Bloke by Faith Oluwajimi, Nigeria
Burc Akyol, France (also womenswear and menswear)
Juntae Kim, South Korea
Kusikohc by Giseok Cho, South Korea
Luar by Raul Lopez, U.S. (also womenswear and menswear)
Marrknull by Wei Wang and Tian Shi, China
Setchu by Satoshi Kuwata, Japan
Stinarand by Stina Randestad, Sweden
Wataru Tominaga, Japan