PARIS — Marques’ Almeida’s Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida won the second annual LVMH Prize, an international contest for young designers selected by some of the industry’s biggest creative figures.
The Portuguese designers receive a grant of 300,000 euros, or $333,300 at current exchange rates, plus a year of coaching from executives at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group and sponsor of the prize.
Actress Natalie Portman, the face of Miss Dior perfume, handed the statuette to Marques and Almeida during a ceremony at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the new Frank Gehry-designed art museum on the leafy fringes of Paris currently showcasing a mother lode of Modern Art masterpieces.
Marques and Almeida beat out seven other finalists. They were: Arthur Arbesser, an Austrian women’s wear designer based in Milan; Craig Green, a British men’s wear specialist based in London; Faustine Steinmetz, a French women’s wear designer based in London; Simon Porte Jacquemus, a Frenchman based in Paris, where he presents his Jacquemus women’s collection; Virgil Abloh, an American designer based in Milan, where he does men’s and women’s fashions under the Off-White label; and Demna Gvasalia, a German designer who presents his Vetements women’s line in Paris.
A special jury prize went to Jacquemus. It comes with 150,000 euros, or $165,580, and one year of coaching.
Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, the French duo behind the Paris-based Coperni women’s label, had withdrawn from the competition after being name artistic directors of women’s wear for Courrèges and putting their nascent label on hold.
The ceremony followed a morning of presentations before a jury stacked with LVMH’s design stars including Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Nicolas Ghesquière, Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci, Jonathan Anderson, and Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim; plus Delphine Arnault, second-in-command at Vuitton; Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Fashion Group; and Jean-Paul Claverie, an adviser to LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault and LVMH’s head of corporate philanthropy.
Launched in 2013 and spearheaded by Arnault, a key talent scout at the luxury group her family controls, the prize is open to designers under age 40 who have presented and sold at least two collections of men’s or women’s ready-to-wear.