The LVMH Prize finalists.

STARTING BLOCKS: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has opened applications for the eighth edition of its LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, which this year will shortlist designers via a digital forum instead of a physical showroom.

Fashion designers from all around the world have until Feb. 28 to submit their applications at LVMHprize.com, the French luxury conglomerate said on Monday.

The prize is open to designers under 40 years old who have presented and sold at least two collections of women’s, men’s or unisex ready-to-wear. The semi-finalists of the prize are usually selected by a panel of experts during a showroom event held during Paris Fashion Week in March. 

“It should be noted that, as a result of the health crisis that has imposed certain restrictions, the semi-final will this year, as an exception, take the form of a digital forum, to be held from April 6 until April 11. This forum will enable each of our international experts to discover and select online the competing designers,” LVMH said in a statement.

The winner, decided by a jury including LVMH’s top designers, will be awarded a cash prize of 300,000 euros plus a year of coaching from experts at LVMH. The winner of the runner-up Karl Lagerfeld Prize will walk away with 150,000 euros and will also benefit from a year of professional advice.

Launched in 2013 and spearheaded by Delphine Arnault, second-in-command at Louis Vuitton and a key talent scout at the luxury group her family controls, the prize has previously been awarded to Thebe Magugu — who won the 2019 edition — Doublet, Marine Serre, Grace Wales Bonner, Marques’Almeida and Thomas Tait.

It has also boosted the careers of its runner-up special-prize winners, which include Rokh, Jacquemus and Hood by Air. 

In 2020, LVMH pivoted the prize into a solidarity fund for the emerging brands in its orbit. Instead of vying for a main prize of 300,000 euros, the eight finalists — Ahluwalia, Casablanca, Chopova Lowena, Nicholas Daley, Peter Do, Sindiso Khumalo, Supriya Lele and Tomo Koizumi — each received 40,000 euros.

Meanwhile, former winners could apply for subsidies from a fund including the cash endowment for the Karl Lagerfeld Prize. The runner-up special prize was renamed in 2019 in honor of the late fashion designer, who designed fur and ready-to-wear at Fendi and was a judge on the LVMH prize panel. 

LVMH also rewards three graduates from fashion schools. This year, graduates from 2020 and 2021 will be considered. The winners will join one of the group’s houses for one year.

See also:

LVMH Cancels Prize Final, Launches Solidarity Fund

At LVMH Prize Showroom, Physical Contact Is Encouraged

Next LVMH Prize Winner Is Probably Famous Already on Instagram