It’s once again time to award an up-and-coming designer with the prestigious and prophetic LVMH Prize. For a decade now, the prize has been celebrating talent and introducing new names to the world of fashion, and one scan through the list of previous finalists proves that acknowledgment alone has the ability to change the career trajectory of a brand. Yes, past winners—including Grace Wales Bonner, Nensi Dojaka, and S.S. Daley—have fared very well, but even those who didn’t nab the top spot, like Connor Ives, KNWLS, and Bode, have succeeded in the field. So while there can only be one winner, it’s often well worth it to familiarize yourself with all 20 labels in contention.
This year, the recognized designers hail from 18 countries, including Mexico, Moldova, and Togo for the first time. These 20 brands broke through the noise of over 2,500 candidates (a record number of entries for the competition) and are now battling it out for one of three awards. There’s the new Savoir-Faire Prize, to focus on craftsmanship, technical expertise, innovation, and sustainability, with the winner receiving a 200,000-euro endowment and a one-year mentor program. The Karl Lagerfeld Prize will recognize the creativity of a brand and award them with 200,000 euros and a one-year mentorship. And then, of course, there’s the ultimate prize with a newly minted endowment of 400,000 euros (up from 300,000 last year) and a one-year mentorship.
Up next, the brands will present their collection in Paris on February 29 and March 1 to a jury of 85 industry professionals. But before that, familiarize yourself with the group, because you will undoubtedly hear from them again.
Agbobly, a Brooklyn-based women’s and menswear brand by Jacques Agbobly of Togo.
Aubero, a menswear brand by Julian Louie of the United States.
Campillo, a sustainable menswear brand by Patricio Campillo of Mexico.
Chiahung Su, a genderless collection inspired by concepts of Japanese aestheticism by Chia Hung Su of Taiwan.
Duran Lantink, a sustainable womenswear, menswear, and genderless brand by Duran Lantink of the Netherlands.
Elena Velez, a womenswear brand known for synthesizing metalwork with high fashion, by Elena Velez of the United States.
Fidan Novruzova, a womenswear brand redefining the notion of modern nostalgia from Moldova.
Hodakova, a womenswear brand known for converting old materials into luxurious goods by Ellen Hodakova of Sweden.
Jiyongkim, a menswear brand with a focus on sun bleaching by Jiyong Kim of South Korea.
Karoline Vitto, a size-inclusive womenswear brand by Karoline Vitto of Brazil.
Khoki, a menswear brand by the faceless Khoki Abe of Japan.
Marie Adam-Leenaerdt, a womenswear brand with a sense of humor by Marie Adam-Leenaerdt of Belgium.
Niccolò Pasqualetti, a genderless collection inspired by Italian heritage by Niccolò Pasqualetti of Italy.
Paolo Carzana, a women’s and menswear brand exploring the tensions between strength and fragility by Paolo Carzana of the United Kingdom.
Pauline Dujancourt, a womenswear brand with a focus on modern knitwear by Pauline Dujancourt of France.
Ponder.er, a genderless collection challenging gender stereotypes and societal norms by Derek Cheng and Alex Po of China.
Standing Ground, a womenswear brand known for its uniquely draped eveningwear by Michael Stewart of Ireland.
Vautrait, a womenswear brand with an emphasis on tailoring by Yonathan Carmel of Israel.
Who Decides War, a women’s and menswear brand remixing standard American style by Everard Best and Tela D’Amore Best of the United States.
Ya Yi, a womenswear brand with an international eye by Yayi Chen Zhou of Spain.