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hyeres fashion festival christoph rumpf

Three upcoming designers from fashion festival Hyères

Ten new fashion finalists presented their work to the likes of Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Guinevere Van Seenus, and last year’s design winners Botter

Over the weekend in the south of France, fashion festival Hyères – responsible for kickstarting the careers of Anthony Vaccarello and Paco Rabanne’s Julien Dossena – launched its 2019 edition.

Covering fashion design, accessories, and photography, finalists from all over the world were invited to present their work in the official home of the festival, Villa Noailles, to a stellar jury that included the likes of Chloé designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Craig McDean, and models Liya Kebede and Guinevere Van Seenus.

As a platform that has been supporting young designers for a decade, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents programme returned to the festival to host the finalist showroom, for both the 2018 and 2019 editions. Chanel and Chloé also returned to sponsor prizes in the design category.

For the design finalists – who hailed from all over the world; Latvia, Ireland, Austria, and Taiwan – the show was not only an opportunity to present their collections on such a big platform, but also offered the winner the chance to present at the next Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin.

For last year’s winners, Botter – designed by Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh – this year’s event was a chance for the label to present its newest collection as well as imparting knowledge to this year’s finalists.

“You have to work hard and stay true to yourself,” they say. “We’re doing the same as what we were doing before (we were announced at Nina Ricci) but people are now paying attention to us.” And, perhaps most importantly, “Don’t be afraid if it’s shit in the beginning,” they joke.

Here we meet three of the design finalists you should be watching.


Paris-based designer Lucille Thievre looked to her mother for inspiration for her sensual collection. “I gathered a lot of pieces that my mother wore in the 80s and they were all ultra sexy, but also powerful,” she explains. Working with form-fitting materials like stretch jersey and lightweight nylon, the crinkled dresses and trousers looked as if models had emerged from the sea and hit the runway. In fact, the gathering was representative of Thievre wanting to wear her mother’s looks as a child, but they were too large. “The body changes as you grow though, so I wanted to add the tension so it’s very sensual,” she adds. Elsewhere, blue and white velvet looked like clouds floating in the sky – perfect for the Southern France locale of the show.



Roísín Pierce’s collection was intensely personal, inspired by the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland – workhouses run by the Catholic church from the 18th-20th century. Delving into the controversial history of her birthplace allowed Pierce to both spotlight it for those unaware and reinterpret it through her lens. “Mixed emotions,” she says on the way she was feeling post-show. “I didn’t want to do a political collection initially because it feels like a way to make people talk about you, but that wasn’t what this was at all – it was very personal!” Pierce’s expertise in textiles was evident and she looked at different techniques of smocking. Up-close the looks revealed a floral print that was stitched into the fabric. With Pierce taking home Chanel’s Métiers d’art prize, she will be granted €20,000 and a chance to utilise the Parisian house’s resources. 



For Austrian-born Christoph Rumpf, his collection was inspired by his own journey from the small town he grew up to the big city. Cutting his teeth at Craig Green’s design studio, Rumpf’s collection featured oversized silhouettes made from found materials – sustainability being an important topic to focus on. “Sustainability should be important to everybody these days,” he says. “We know all about the fashion industry and the damage is does to the world, so I used a lot of deadstock materials and items I found at flea markets.” As winner of the jury’s prize, Rumpf will be awarded €20,000 by Première Vision, up to €20,000 from Chanel, and a collaboration with Petit Beateau of €10,000. That’s without even mentioning the most exciting, a chance to present his collection at the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin – set to take place from July 2-4. Stay tuned for what the future holds for the designer.