PARIS — Chanel is putting its financial might and brain trust behind a French prize for young fashion talents.
The fashion house — a marquee sponsor and fountainhead of jurors for the next International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France — has signed on as a sponsor of the 2015 ANDAM Fashion Award. Chanel has also put forth its president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, to mentor the victor over a two-year period.
Now in its 26th edition, ANDAM has added a prize for accessories design valued at 30,000 euros, or $34,130 at current exchange rates, and increased its First Collections Prize to 90,000 euros, or $102,400, from 75,000 euros, or $85,330. Introduced in 2011, the latter grant goes to a young French company, along with coaching and an exclusive space at Galeries Lafayette’s flagship in Paris.
The higher amount reflects the costs associated with expanding production, particularly for brands that wish to take advantage of French savoir-faire, noted ANDAM founder Nathalie Dufour.
The grand prize delivers an endowment of 250,000 euros, or $284,450, and is open to designers of any nationality willing to establish a business in France. The winner also receives guidance on matters including financial, legal, marketing, communications and production.
In an interview, Pavlovsky said Chanel’s close ties to many French manufacturers — and the specialty ateliers it controls through its Paraffection subsidiary, including embroiderers, button makers and silversmiths — puts it in a strong position to advise young talents, and support Paris as a center of fashion creativity.
Most young designers don’t lack ideas or energy, but need expertise “on the second step, which is how to sell, manufacture and deliver their collections to the stores,” he said.
Pavlovsky said he could provide input on communication, pricing, collection planning, customer relations and commercial strategies: “We can give them a good support.”
Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, who catapulted 3-D printing to the fashion forefront with her sculptural dresses, was the 2014 ANDAM victor, and is receiving creative and strategic advice from Kering chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault, the 2014 mentor.
The French acronym for the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts, ANDAM is welcoming applications from today until April 20, with the finalists unveiled in May.
A jury of fashion professionals is to pick the winners on July 3 during couture week in Paris.
Founded in 1989 by Dufour, with the support of the French government and with former Yves Saint Laurent couture boss Pierre Bergé as president, ANDAM has been a springboard for an array of designers who would go on to achieve international recognition, including Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire and Jeremy Scott.
The prize is supported by an array of corporate sponsors, including Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, Kering, Longchamp, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Galeries Lafayette, MAC Cosmetics, OTB, Thecorner.com, Swarovski, Tomorrow London and Saint Laurent, and with France’s Ministry of Culture and Communications and fashion fund DEFI on board as public institutions.
Awards, funds and initiatives aiding young designers have recently become an intense focus for Europe’s big luxury players and trade bodies, with LVMH last year introducing an international prize and established awards layering on mentoring and business coaching.
For the next Hyères festival, with Chanel as a major partner, its couturier, Karl Lagerfeld, was named artistic director; Virginie Viard, Chanel’s creative studio director, president of the fashion jury, and Eric Pfrunder, image director at Chanel fashion, president of the photography jury, as reported.