The winner of the first LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize has been announced today in Paris. Canadian designer Thomas Tait, a stalwart of London Fashion Week has scooped the 2014 gong, which comes complete with €300,000 investment, a year of mentorship and serious industry kudos.
Judges Clockwise from Top Left: Nicholas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Humberto Leon & Carol Lim of Kenzo, Riccardo Tisci, Raf Simons & Phoebe Philo
Open to all designers under 40 years old who have created at least two mens or womenswear collections, the LVMH prize is one of the most illustrious - and lucrative gongs the fashion industry has to offer. Launched last year by Delphine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton and member of the board of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, the luxury goods conglomerate which controls subsidiaries including Celine, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs) the award was established to nurture creative talent.
Thomas Tait Autumn/Winter 2014
Aside from the investment, the prize also offers young designers the chance to show their wares to some of the world's most influential designers who make up the judging panel. This year's jury includes Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Riccardo Tisci, Raf Simons, Humberto Leon & Carol Lim of Kenzo and Phoebe Philo, so even just to be nominated is a massive boon to any young designer's career.
This year's twelve finalists included London Fashion Week favourites Simone Rocha and Tait alongside international labels including Vika Gazinskaya, Atto, CG, Suno, Gabriele Colangelo, Hood by Air, Jacquemus, Miuniku, Tillmann Lauterbach and Tim Coppens.
Thomas Tait Spring/Summer 2013
But it was Thomas Tait who emerged victorious, though there were special prizes awarded to both Miuniku and Hood by Air. Central Saint Martins graduate (he was the youngest designer ever to complete the MA programme) Tait has long been a fashion editor favourite with his sporty aesthetic and innovative use of technical fabrics setting him apart from the endless new names on the block. Congratulations Thomas!