Chiara Ferragni

PARIS — The LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers is ramping up its digital presence.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has asked Chiara Ferragni, one of the world’s top influencers with 15.9 million followers on Instagram, to join the expert committee for the sixth edition of the award. Ferragni has close ties to LVMH-owned Dior, whose women’s wear designer Maria Grazia Chiuri made her wedding dress.

Ferragni joins Naomi Campbell and 14 other newcomers, drawn from the worlds of media and e-commerce, on the prize panel.

They include Rami Atallah, cofounder and chief executive officer of Ssense.com; Aizel Trudel, founder of Russian e-commerce site Aizel.ru; Aimee Song of fashion blog Song of Style; Kevin Ma, founder and ceo of Hypebeast; stylist Marie Chaix; documentary maker Loïc Prigent, and fashion journalist Angelo Flaccavento.

Also new are Edward Enninful, editor in chief of Vogue U.K.; Ezra Petronio, editor in chief of Self Service; Joerg Koch, founder and editor in chief of 032c; Ashley Heath, editorial director of Pop and Arena Homme +; Suzanne Koller, fashion director of M Le Monde, and System cofounders Elizabeth von Guttman and Alexia Niedzielski.

“We are thrilled to welcome this year both prominent personalities from traditional fashion media and professionals who have succeeded in creating innovative online platforms for communication and commerce,” said Delphine Arnault, second-in-command at Louis Vuitton and a member of LVMH’s executive committee.

The new experts on the LVMH Prize panel.  Courtesy

The panel now counts a total of 62 experts, of which around half are from so-called traditional media.

“However, the titles represented also have a presence online, and the line between print and web has become increasingly blurred. The appearance in recent years of pure web players has been a game-changer and created new platforms for fashion lovers who yearned to express something new,” Arnault told WWD.

“They represent fertile ground for expression and opportunity for designers. The emergence of certain pure players has been a springboard for young designers, alongside a specialist press that spots them. It was our duty to identify and support these new opportunities to support the development of young brands,” she added.

Arnault, a key talent scout at the luxury group her family controls, also noted the prize had opted for a web application format from the beginning. The winner, decided by a jury including LVMH’s top designers, will walk away with a cash prize of 300,000 euros plus a year of coaching from experts at LVMH.

Launched in 2013, the prize is open to designers under age 40 who have presented and sold at least two collections of women’s, men’s or unisex ready-to-wear.

Arnault said it was too early to comment on the composition of this year’s jury, and whether it would include Virgil Abloh, who joined the group last year as artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton. Nicolas Ghesquière, who designs women’s wear at Vuitton, already sits on the jury.

Though Arnault declined to comment on reports that LVMH plans to launch a luxury label with Rihanna, the executive said the group was committed to representing a wide range of talents.

“Diversity is essential for LVMH. We hired Virgil Abloh above all because he is an extremely talented designer who again proved his creativity during this [men’s] fashion week. We are also proud to have two female creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Clare Waight Keller, at the head of two big houses. But it’s above all a question of talent,” she emphasized.

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