Published on February 26, 2014 | by Danil Boparai


Twelve CSM grads make semi-finals for LVMH prize

CSM graduate Christopher Kane is one of 12 UAL alumni in the running to win the LVMH young fashion designer award.

The list of semi-finalists for the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) Young Fashion Designer Award includes 12 graduates from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design.

Out of over 1,200 applicants, the 12 alumni to make it to the final 30 selected by a committee of LVMH employees are:

  • BA Fashion graduate Ostwald Helgason
  • MA Fashion graduates Simone Rocha, Thomas Tait, Marques Almeida, Jackie Lee and Hellen van Rees
  • BA and MA Fashion graduates Meadham Kirchhoff, Kathleen Kye, Christopher Kane, Craig Green, Christopher Shannon and Yang Li

The competition is in its first year and was open to any designer under the age of 40 who had presented and sold at least two women’s or men’s ready-to-wear collections.

Delphine Arnault, who is second in command at Louis Vuitton, told Women’s Wear Daily: “It was really hard to do a shortlist of 30. I was really amazed at the number of applicants and the quality of the dossiers we received.”

Support and development

The winner of the prize will receive €300,000 , as well as support from a special LVMH team to develop their label for a whole year.

Arnault, who is also head of the competition, said the prize “has been created to support promising young fashion designers. Our goal is clearly to energise the vitality and creativity of the fashion world on a global scale. As a leader in our industry, we have a responsibility to discover young talents and to help them flourish.”

Canadian designer Thomas Tait, who specialised in womenswear at CSM, told ALN: “I’m of course ecstatic to be selected as one of the 30 designers. It is a competition so tension is high, but to be completely honest, I just feel lucky to involved and have the opportunity to meet all of the incredible experts who sit on the judging panel.”

He added: “It’s also LVMH, so I can already tell that we will be very well taken care of during the process. My business could definitely use the support, but then again almost all young brands need help these days. It’s a tough business and an even tougher economy, so LVMH could not have chosen a better time to create this wonderful opportunity.”

LMVH have flown the 30 semi-finalists to Paris to showcase eight looks from their latest collections. They will meet 40 well-known figures from retail and fashion publishing, including Natalie Massenet, executive chairman of Net-a-Porter and Sarah Andelman, creative director at Collette, who will review their work at LVMH headquarters on Avenue Montaigne. The group will then be whittled down to ten finalists.

In May, the remaining ten will make presentations in front of a jury, including industry-leading designers Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo and Riccardo Tisci. Professor Louise Wilson OBE, the Director of MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins, will also be among the decision makers.


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