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Backstage at Tomo Koizumi AW19Photography Andrew Tess

LVMH will split this year’s prize money between all 8 finalists

In a move of solidarity, there will not be one single winner of this year’s award

With previous winners including the likes of Marine Serre, Jacquemus, and Grace Wales Bonner, the LVMH Prize has announced it’s upcoming final will not reward one single winner, but will instead see its cash prize of €300,000 split evenly between its eight finalists.

In a move of solidarity against the backdrop of coronavirus, the initiative hopes to relieve some of the financial burdens that many young designers are facing in the current climate. “The health crisis poses an economic threat to young talent,” the organisation said in an Instagram post.

With the competition originally slated to take place in June, a star-studded line up of judges, including Rihanna, were set to pick this year’s winner. With the finalists announced in February, Priya Ahluwalia of Ahluwalia, Supriya LeleTomotaka Koizumi of Tomo Koizumi, Charaf Tajer of Casablanca, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena of Chopova LowenaNicholas DaleyPeter Do, and Sindiso Khumalo, will now instead receive a sum of €40,000 each.

Alongside this, LVMH is also set to establish a Fund to support other designers during this time. Repurposing its Karl Lagerfeld Prize, which typically comes in a cash endowment of €150,000, this time money will go towards helping previous winners of both the main award and its runners-up, giving the likes of Serre and Wales Bonner the ability to request aid.  

“Since its launch, the LVMH Prize has promoted and nurtured young talent,” Delphine Arnault, the Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton and founder of the Prize, said in a statement. “Each year, it places the spotlight on young designers from all over the world and supports the development of their companies. In this challenging context, this Fund in aid of young fashion designers highlights the main mission of the LVMH Prize by supporting our former winners.”

Look back on Tomo Koizumi’s AW19 presentation above.