After considering well over a thousand applications, under the supervision of Delphine Arnault, LVMH have shortlisted thirty designers originating from a diverse range of countries across the globe. The talent ranges from home turf to China, Russia, Israel, Nigeria and Haiti; and whilst some designers have only produced two collections, others are more established. Five of the final thirty design menswear – an area that is set to overtake womenswear by 2016.
Over the last 25 years, LVMH have been at the forefront of supporting emerging designers and the arts. During his time at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs pioneered collaborations with artist Richard Prince, who re-interpreted his Joke Painting's and Nurses series for the brand; Yayoi Kusama, whose hypnotic and repetitive patterns were branded on Louis Vuitton classics and perhaps most memorably, with Stephen Sprouce in 1987, creating the trademark Louis Vuitton graffiti. The latter was revisited in Jacobs SS14 farewell show, when Sprouce painted his iconic design onto Edie Campbell’s naked body. As Bernard Arnault puts it: "Innovation is more powerful when it springs from a preserved heritage." It is LVMH’s unique passion for innovation, invention and creativity, which facilitates this support.
Delphine Arnault commented on the finalists, “I am extremely impressed by the quantity of applicants and by the quality of their work. The internet submission has allowed designers from all over the world to apply and as we had hoped, this selection process allowed us to discover new talents, some of them relatively unknown.” Forty experts will narrow the shortlist down to ten finalists, who will be presented to the Jury at the end May 2014. The prestigious list of judges includes Dazed’s own Jefferson Hack, Mariacarla Boscono, Natalie Massenet, Carine Roitfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Phoebe Philo, Raf Simons and Riccardo Tisci amongst many other influential figures. The inaugural winner will be announced in May 2014.
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