PARIS — Botter, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Peter Do are among seven finalists for the ANDAM Fashion Award 2022 grand prize, reflecting the competition’s international reach, which aims to attract talent from around the world to settle in the French capital.
All three are former finalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Designers, with South Africa-based Mdingi, who designs men’s and women’s clothing, one of the co-winners of the Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize. last year.
Dutch menswear brand Botter is designed by Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, who until recently moonlighted as creative directors for Nina Ricci, while womenswear designer Peter Do, who previously worked at Celine under Phoebe Philo, is based in New York.
Only one of ANDAM’s €300,000 main prize contenders is headquartered in Paris: Thomas Monet’s cool brand TM. Candidates for the ANDAM Grand Prix can be of any nationality, but must own a French business or start one in the same year as receiving the scholarship.
Rounding out the list of finalists are Berlin-based womenswear brand Ottolinger, created by Swiss designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient; Heliot Emil from Copenhagen, which was founded by brothers Victor and Julius Juul in 2016 as a menswear brand and has since expanded into womenswear, and London-based womenswear brand Robert Wun, which was recently the subject of an exhibition at the museum of the Savannah College of Art and Design. in Atlanta.
For the first time this year, ANDAM will also award a special second prize, with a cash reward of €100,000, to one of the finalists, reflecting the generosity of new and established sponsors and recognizing the strength of talent. of high caliber. the awards attracted recently.
The three nominees for the Pierre Bergé prize, which rewards young French companies and is endowed with 100,000 euros, are Benjamin Benmoyal, who makes clothes from unsold fabrics and recycled materials such as VHS tapes; Bluemarble Paris, a Parisian menswear brand founded by multicultural designer Anthony Alvarez, and Boyarovskaya, created by designer Maria Boyarovskaya and fashion photographer Artem Kononenko.
Meanwhile, the three contenders for the Accessories Prize, worth 50,000 euros, are 13 09 SR, the brand co-founded by former Carven designer Serge Ruffieux which launched last year with flat shoes and bejeweled glasses; London-based Romanian designer Ancuta Sarca, whose designs blend sportswear and haute couture, and Parisian jewelry designer Dolly Cohen, who has created grills for celebrities such as Rihanna.
Nathalie Dufour, founder and managing director of ANDAM, noted that the prize has always attracted a multitude of international applications, pointing out that the first winner in 1989 was Belgian designer Martin Margiela.
“I think it also shows that Paris is a capital that continues to attract a lot of talent,” she told WWD in a joint interview with Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel mode and president of Chanel SAS, who returns this year for his second award mentor position. “Participating in the ANDAM award opens many doors.
Dufour noted that the main prize comes with several conditions: in addition to creating a French subsidiary, brands must commit to showing their collections in Paris, and part of the prize money depends on hiring French manufacturers.
“It’s about promoting the ‘Made in France’ label and connecting companies with these brands, which dream of having access to high-level know-how that positions them as luxury brands”, said she said, adding that the scarce skills on offer in France is also part of brands’ efforts to promote sustainable production.
At the same time, the finalists based in France will have privileged access to the acceleration program of the fashion school of the Institut Français de la Mode and to the financial advice of the Institute for the Financing of Cinema and Cultural Industries, which supports cultural industries in France.
Pavlovsky said the ANDAM prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony on June 30, was key to restoring Paris’s reputation as a fashion capital. “Our ambition is really to look for the best to promote both ANDAM and Paris and that necessarily leads us to be super international,” he said.
“It would be great to have seven French candidates. The reality today is that design is extremely broad, cosmopolitan and international. It draws inspiration from all cultures, from all continents, so it is important that the ANDAM price reflects this as well,” he added.
Both noted that this year’s finalists shared a trend towards timeless designs, in line with their generation’s growing demand for ethical and sustainable production.
“There is a return to a certain classicism and to the idea of wardrobe construction. We see less political commentary, less effort to use clothes as vehicles for slogans or ideas. Instead, the focus is on exploring more deeply the primary function of the garment and the quality of the materials. In that sense, I found this selection quite mature,” said Dufour.
Pavlovsky, who previously mentored 2015 ANDAM winner Stephane Ashpool of streetwear brand Pigalle Paris, said he will put even more emphasis on environmental concerns this time around.
“These are brands that, if they adopt good habits from the start, can produce sustainably. It is difficult for established brands to change and evolve. As part of my mentorship, I will discuss with winners how to start doing this from their current position. I think that’s the key to tomorrow’s fashion,” he said.
The award’s mentorship has also adapted to reflect today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, with the arrival of Instagram and Mytheresa.com as sponsors, offering this year’s winners the possibility of tapping into a digitally aware braintrust to refine their communication and distribution strategies.
Pavlovsky said the mentoring process should allow brands to avoid some of the mistakes made by their more established peers.
“There is so much going on today in the world of fashion and luxury, many sectors are experiencing disruption, from retail to manufacturing – there are really many areas where we can help, even if it’s just by drawing their attention to potential pitfalls,” he said.
“Now more than ever, our job as mentors is to help them achieve what they want, but also to alert them and save them time to issues that, unfortunately, we have already struggled with. in the past,” Pavlovsky added.
Created in 1989 by Dufour with the support of the French Ministry of Culture and DEFI, an organization that promotes the development of the French fashion industry, and under the chairmanship of the late Pierre Bergé, ANDAM has been a springboard for creators who would go on to gain international recognition.
Past winners are Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire, Jeremy Scott and Marine Serre.
ANDAM — the French acronym for the National Association for the Development of Fashion Arts — is also supported by major corporate sponsors, including Balenciaga, Chanel, Chloé, the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, Galeries Lafayette, Google, Hermès, Instagram, Kering, Lacoste, Longchamp, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal Paris, MyTheresa, OTB, Premiere Classe, Saint Laurent, Swarovski and Tomorrow.
The directors of most of these firms are permanent members of the jury.
Many members of this year’s guest jury come from Chanel’s orbit. They include model and music producer Caroline de Maigret; twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz of the musical duo Ibeyi; choreographer Blanca Li; rapper Abd al Malik; model, DJ and singer Soo Joo Park, and Miren Arzalluz, director of the Palais Galliera fashion museum.
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