ones to watch

The 2019 LVMH Prize Finalists Make Up the Most Diverse Group Yet

Photo: Courtesy LVMH

After receiving 1,700 applicants from more than 100 countries, spread over all seven continents — a new record — eight emerging designers were selected as finalists for this year’s LVMH prize on Wednesday.

Their names were chosen by 63 international fashion experts from a pool of 20 semi-finalists, who presented their collections in Paris at the beginning of March. Collectively, these finalists represent the future of fashion, with a number championing sustainability and gender-fluidity with their designs.

“This edition notably establishes the emergence of environmental and sustainable issues among the applicants,” said Delphine Arnault, who established the prize in 2014. “The final shortlist of the Prize highlights gender-neutral collections with four designers presenting creations that can be worn by both women and men,” she continued. “Furthermore, I am delighted to welcome for the first time at this stage of the competition one Israeli designer and two African designers, from Nigeria and South Africa.”

Notably, the jury this year will be missing the late Karl Lagerfeld. The proceedings will “not be quite the same without him,” added Arnault.

Past finalists include talents like Grace Wales Bonner and Marine Serre, who’ve gone on to be some of the most exciting designers showing at Paris Fashion Week.

Below, see the names of this year’s finalists, before they hit it big.

Anrealage by Kunihiko Morinaga (Japanese designer, based in Tokyo).
Shows womenswear in Paris.

Bethany Williams by Bethany Williams (British designer, based in London).
Shows gender-neutral fashion in London.

Bode by Emily Adams Bode (American designer, based in New York).
Shows menswear in New York.

Hed Mayner by Hed Mayner (Israeli designer, based in Tel Aviv).
Shows gender-neutral fashion in Paris.

Kenneth Ize by Kenneth Izedonmwen (Nigerian designer, based in Lagos).
Shows gender-neutral fashion in Paris and Lagos.

Phipps by Spencer Phipps (American designer, based in Paris).
Shows gender-neutral fashion in Paris.

Stefan Cooke by Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt (British designers, based in London).
Shows menswear in London.

Thebe Magugu by Thebe Magugu (South African designer, based in Johannesburg).
Shows womenswear in Johannesburg.

Winners of the 2019 LVMH Prize will be announced in July at the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

One of These 8 Designers Will Win Fashion’s Biggest Prize