While three New York designers, including Brandon Maxwell, were among the eight finalists in the running for the 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers for 2016, English talent Grace Wales Bonner of Wales Bonner was awarded the accolade for her womenswear and menswear pieces on Thursday at a ceremony at the Louis Vuitton Foundation art museum in Paris. Vuitton muse and French beauty Lea Seydoux presented the Jean-Michel Othoniel-designed trophy to the winners.
“Grace Wales Bonner of Wales Bonner impressed the jury with her soulful work on refined shapes, creating hybrid forms that marry European and African style,” Louis Vuitton Executive Vice President Delphine Arnault said in a statement. “I congratulate her for this outstanding achievement.”
So what comes with the sought-after title? Bonner will receive a grant of 300,000 euros (approximately $337,000) to put towards her upcoming collections and will also be privy to a year-long mentorship from the LVMH group, owner of top-notch brands like Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Fendi, Christian Dior, Givenchy, and more. In addition to Bonner, Vejas Kruszewski of Vejas received the Special Prize, which merits a 150,000 euro grant. Designers Beth Hall, Ayo Keys, and Francesca Richiardi, recent fashion school graduates, were also honored with not only a job within LVMH, but also 10,000 euros.
To select the lucky recipients, LVHM tapped jury members like Marc Jacobs, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Chanel and Fendi’s Karl Lagerfeld, and Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson, among others, who came together to choose this year’s winner and award the top finalists.