It's been a fantastic start to the new year for Lady Gaga's stylist, fashion designer and best friend Brandon Maxwell. After dressing the superstar for the Grammys in Los Angeles on a Sunday, he flew to New York to present his well-received second collection at NYFW the very next day—and, this morning, he was announced as one of the eight finalists vying for the 2016 LVMH Prize. Whew. The prestigious award, presented by the vaunted luxury fashion powerhouse, supports young design talent with the distinguished honor, a mentoring opportunity, and cold hard cash of a 300,000 euro grant.
Fellow designers on the shortlist include Alyx, a womenswear brand by New York-based designer Matthew Williams; Aalto by Paris-based Finnish designer Tuomas Merikoski; Facetasm by Hiromichi Ochiai from Tokyo; Koché by Parisian Christelle Kocher; Vejas by Vejas Kruszewski in Toronto; Wales Bonner by Brit Grace Wales Bonner; and Y/Project by Paris-based Belgian Glenn Martens.
And being part of this elite squad protends big things. Case in point: The 2015 finalists include Demna Gvasalia of Vetements. A year later, Vetements is basically the hottest label in the galaxy and the designer snagged the creative director role at Balenciaga, presenting his first collection for the house for fall 2016.
"With three designers based in Paris in the final eight, the list reflects the vitality of the French fashion scene and the attractiveness of Paris for designers from all over the world," stated Delphine Arnault, director and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton. "Among them, Koché was a semi-finalist last year. I'm also pleased to note that a Japanese designer has reached this level of the competition for the first time. I wish luck to all the finalists. It will be a hard task for our Jury to choose one of them. And I also congratulate the semi-finalists, who I hope to see and meet again in the months and years to come."
The esteemed jury members included Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, and Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. The winner of the third annual LVMH Prize for Young Designers will be announced in Paris on July 16—to join visionary alums, Marques'Almeida and Thomas Tait.