SHANGHAI — The inaugural Hu Fashion Forward Prize, a series of awards set up by the Shanghai multibrand boutique Le Monde De SHC, has released the names of its finalists.
Created to identify and nurture China’s next generation of talent, the eventual winners will be named at a gala dinner this Friday, held at Shanghai’s historic Paramount ballroom.
In total, Hu Fashion Forward will award five prizes, with the main prize giving away 500,000 renminbi, or $77,600, and the other four, 150,000 renminbi, or $23,300.
The grand prize, the HFF Forward, evaluates designers who have produced at least six collections. This year’s finalists are Samuel Gui Yang, a brand known for its gentle and sophisticated new approach to codes of Chinese tailoring; Marchen, which has developed a cult following for their romantic and multilayered dresses; Cornerstone, the minimalist cogender brand started by a former architect Sun Yun, and Shuting Qiu, whose signature look favors eclectic cheerful patterns.
Meanwhile, the China Forward Prize awards creativity leveraging Chinese culture, craft or technology. Penultimate, Soft Mountains and Windowsen are the finalists in this category.
The New Forward Prize is allocated to designers who have presented their first collection within the past year. This year’s nominees are Louis Shengtao Chen, Windowsen and Zimo.
The ACC Forward Prize focuses on accessories brands and finalists are Susan Fang, Xiaonan and Soft Mountains.
Finally, there is the Sustainability Forward Prize sponsored by H&M, which awards environmental and social responsibility. The finalists are 022397BLUFF, Shuting Qiu and Von Project.
Alongside a judging panel of industry leaders, 15 percent of each designer’s score will come from the public vote, which people are able to access through WeChat.
The judging panel is led by Eric Young, LMDS founder, and also includes Zhang Ying, founder of NotShowroom and XCommons; Giovanni Pungetti, managing director for Tomorrow Asia; Zemira Xu, founder of Tube showroom; Julio Ng, director of Seiya Nakamura 2.24; Zhuge Sujia, editor in chief of Elle China, the stylist Lucia Liu; Jojo Qian, founder of creative agency Pink Studio; Kylie Ying, founder of art fair Art021; Andreas Löwenstam, men’s wear BU responsible, H&M China brand hub, and Zheng Yu, founder of Fashionmodels.