Backstage at the Hyères fashion show


PARIS — The Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography will feature a new competition this year, a prize for fashion accessories sponsored by Swarovski.

Ten young designers will be invited to show micro-collections of handbags, footwear, jewelry, hats and sunglasses in a new space at the Villa Noailles, organizers of the festival said Monday.

Now in its 32nd year, the Hyères festival has been a launchpad for major fashion designers including Viktor & Rolf, Anthony Vaccarello and Julien Dossena. This will be the first time the festival has hosted a competition for accessories.

The ten finalists — whose names will be revealed during Paris couture week in late January — will receive support from Swarovski and Première Vision in the creation of their collections for the festival. Fashion-focused video studio Psycho-PH will create a film about the designers’ work to be projected before the runway shows at the festival.

During the festival the designers will have the chance to present their collections in private meetings with members of the jury before staging a joint exhibition that will be open to the public.

The competition’s final winner will be awarded a prize of 15,000 euros, or $15,858, paid by Swarovski.

For Nadja Swarovski, a member of the crystal goods and precision optical equipment giant’s executive committee, sponsoring the accessories prize is about “motivating, supporting and rewarding young creation.”

With the addition of a prize for accessories, Hyères aims to “complete its offer with a new international competition to follow in the beautiful footsteps of its two older siblings, fashion and photography,” the festival’s president and founder Jean-Pierre Blanc said.

Blanc called for “national solidarity” — and financial support — after a fire in October severely damaged the Château Saint-Pierre annex at the Villa Noailles, the early modernist estate that houses the festival each year. The neo-Roman Château Saint-Pierre had housed workshops for fashion prototyping since being rehabilitated in 2014.

The Hyères Festival will form a special accessories jury to judge the prize, the president of which be revealed in late January along with the 10 finalists.

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