Style Fashion

Sunday 17 November 2019

Irish designer Simone Rocha chosen by Karl Lagerfeld for prestigious luxury fashion award

LVMH has announced the 12 finalists for its Young Fashion Designers competition.

The French multinational luxury goods company launched a challenge to find the next big name in fashion last November. Whoever wins the prize will be awarded with €300,000 and a year of coaching, which triggered 1,221 entries by the closing point last month.

Over a period of two days during Paris Fashion Week, panellists including Karl Lagerfeld and photographer Patrick Demarchelier set out to narrow down 30 semi-finalists to ten. However, it appears they struggled to meet the target and instead opted to put forward 12 up-and-coming stars for the prize.

Designer Simone Rocha leads the nominees along with Suno by Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty, Thomas Tait, Tillmann Lauterbach, Tom Coppins and Vika Gazinskaya. Also in the running are Atto by Julien Dossena, CG by Chris Gelinas, Gabriele Colangelo, Shayne Oliver’s Hood by Air, Jacquemus by Simon Porte Jacquemus and Miuniku by Nikita and Tina Sutradhar.

Louis Vuitton’s executive vice president Delphine Arnault, who also sits on the judging board, admitted it was a difficult process.

“It’s so hard. When we compiled the votes, four designers all had the same amount, so we let 12 in. I think it’s good,” she told

“All the [LVMH Prize] designers are really enthusiastic. I’m sure the contestants are nervous, but at the same time, it’s an amazing opportunity to meet all these people.”

Karl was previously a winner of a competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat in 1955, which saw his career catapulted into the limelight.

Delphine remembers how he told her of his nerve-racking application process.

“Karl started his career after winning a prize, but he told me there were 200,000 applicants, not 1,200 as we’ve had,” she explained. “Karl even had to sit and draw in front of the judges to prove that someone else hadn’t done his sketches for him.”

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