Thomas Tait has walked away with the inaugural LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, along with a €300,000 (about £250,000) grant and a year's worth of mentoring from a team of special LVMH advisors.
The Montreal-born, London-based designer was selected from a shortlist of 12 finalists by a prize jury that included fellow designers and industry experts such as Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs and Delphine Arnault. His rival designers included Simone Rocha, Shayne Oliver's Hood by Air and Jacquemus by Simon Porte Jacquemus.
"The jury was captivated by the personality and the work of Thomas Tait," Delphine Arnault, the executive vice-president of Louis Vuitton, said. "He is a great talent. I'm proud LVMH can help him develop his brand."
At 24, Tait was the youngest ever graduate from the Central Saint Martins womenswear MA programme (you can read our review of his graduate collection here). Now 28 years old, Tait made his London Fashion Week debut with his spring/summer 2011 collection and went on to establish a strong, clean aesthetic based on immaculate silhouette and structure.
Tait wasn't the only winner today: the jury was so impressed with the standard of entrants that it decided to award two special prizes to Hood By Air and Miuniku. Both designers have won €100,000 and a year-long mentorship to develop their brand.