Throughout its three years of existence, the LVMH award has become a real indicator of fashion’s next bright young designers. With a shortlist of 23 extremely diverse and remarkably talented semi-finalists from all over the world, this year was no different. To celebrate LVMH’s recent announcement of the eight lucky finalists, we’ve narrowed it down even further and selected our four favourites from the group.
Aalto by Tuomas Merikoski
Though celebrated for its interior design, Finland has never been particularly known for its fashion. However, the change is perceptible, as this year’s semi-finalists included two Finnish designers. Though Paris-based, the Finnish born Tuomas Merikowski creates clothes inspired by all the things that are intrinsic to his homeland. His neatly designed garments are adorned with sudden splashes of colour. Simple, comfortable and unexpectedly cool, the pieces are a lively take on the essentially basic Finnish way of dressing.
Y/Project by Glenn Martens
Glenn Martens, who created Y/Project almost two years ago, is a graduate of the famous Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp and his work is a nice reminder of why the Belgian approach to fashion continues to receive such appreciation. His unconventional and unisex pieces frivolously play with forms, shapes and volumes while maintaining their sexiness. The designer breaks taboos associated with traditional menswear fashion by exposing flesh, something that is still rare despite all the gender-bender ado.
Facetasm by Hiromichi Ochiai
Run by designer Hiromichi Ochiai, Facetasm is a menswear brand that has already built a strong following among street style fanatics due to a well-received collaboration with Converse. The edgy and offbeat designs borrow a lot from the Punk scene and are reminiscent of 1980s Japanese fashion avant-garde. Though imbued with a raw, wild energy, Ochiai’s collections are an excellent display of the designer’s masterful talent in layering and tailoring.
Wales Bonner by Grace Wales Bonner
Grace Wales Bonner is an English-Jamaican graduate of Central St. Martins who uses her menswear brand to subvert the traditional West-centric notions of luxury by juxtaposing traditional staples of menswear with tokens of black visual culture. As she put it in an interview, “It’s about exploring the space between European ideals of opulence and elegance to create something that’s very real – very directly African.”
The winner of the LVMH Prize will be announced on 16 June 2016 at the Louis Vuitton Foundation