American Marketer

Apparel and accessories

LVMH Prize winner hailed as “heroine of menswear”

June 17, 2016

LVMH Prize 2016 LVMH Prize 2016


Grace Wales Bonner has been selected by a panel of distinguished judges as the winner of the third annual LVMH Prize.

The LVMH Prize was created in 2013. The grand prize, open to designers under 40 who have shown at least two collections, consists of a 300,000 euro grant, $325,500 at current exchange rates, and a mentorship from an LVMH team for a year to develop his or her company (see story).

And the winner is...
Out of seven finalists, an industry panel including Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquiere, Celine’s Phoebe Philo and Marc Jacobs, selected Ms. Wales Bonner as the 2016 winner of the coveted prize.

Ms. Wales Bonner was awarded the LVMH prize on June 16 during a ceremony held at Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Actress Lea Seydoux, currently the face of Louis Vuitton’s Spirit of Travel campaign, presented Ms. Wales Bonner with her award.

LVMH.Grace Wales Bonner

Grace Wales Bonner, center

The 25-year-old Ms. Wales Bonner, of London, is a graduate of Central Saint Martins and won the LVMH prize on the heels of presenting her latest collection at London Collections Men. Ms. Wales Bonner was also awarded as Emerging Menswear Designer at the 2015 British Fashion Awards.

Already the industry is hailing Ms. Wales Bonner’s talent as “the heroine of menswear.” As fashion continues to become more gender neutral (see story), Ms. Wales Bonner’s collections are at the core of the movement, offering menswear that can be worn by both men and women, but is more than just an oversized tee or blazer.

“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,” said Delphine Arnault, executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, in a statement for LVMH. “I congratulate her for this outstanding achievement.

“The third edition of the LVMH Prize saw young talents from more than 50 countries come together to compete,” she said. “I’m proud that the LVMH Group puts the spotlight on their work and guides them in their development.”

The LVMH prize short list included Tuomas Merikoski; Alyx, by Matthew Williams; Facetasm, by Hiromichi Hiromichi Ochiai; Koché, by Christelle Kocher; Vejas, by Vejas Kruszewski; Y/Project, by Glenn Martens; and Brandon Maxwell.


Vejas Kruszewski, center

Mr. Kruszewski of Vejas was presented with a special prize.