While LVMH yesterday announced the eight young fashion designers nominated for the finals which will take place in June, we got a chance to catch up with them at the showroom during Paris Fashion Week. We only knew Casablanca and Nicolas Daley before, both of whom we love, but it was great to see their work and discuss with the other nominees.

The world seems to be in a depressing place, and honestly, we didn’t have much motivation for fashion this season, but felt much more motivated after learning about the different designers approach to ethical work practices, textiles and culture can be influential in all aspects of the industry. It left us more inspired for today and tomorrow.

Regarding the Jury, Delphine Arnault stated in their press release “For this 7th edition, I am delighted to announce the arrival of Virgil Abloh, former Prize finalist, Robyn Rihanna Fenty and Stella McCartney in the Jury of the LVMH Prize. They will be joining our prestigious panel which includes: Jonathan Anderson, Kris Van Assche, Nicolas Ghesquière, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Marc Jacobs, Clare Waight Keller as well as Sidney Toledano, Jean-Paul Claverie and I. I wish to thank them for their involvement and their support to young creation. The Prize is an incredible opportunity for these young designers to be appraised by them and to enjoy their advice.”

An additional support this year sees 24S and MatchesFashion welcome the finalists of the LVMH Prize on their respective platform in order to help them gain international exposure.

The eight finalists are:

AHLUWALIA by Priya Ahluwalia (British designer based in London) Menswear presented in London

Through her namesake brand, “AHLUWALIA”, Priya takes elements from her dual Indian-Nigerian heritage and London roots and lifestyle and explores the life of vintage and dead-stock materials, using textile techniques to give them a new life. A celebration of craftsmanship, Ahluwalia works with factories that applaud artisanal work and foster safe, fair and well-trained environments including Sewa Delhi, an embroidery social enterprise that works with rural women, and positions them into fairly paid and flexible employment.

CASABLANCA by Charaf Tajer (French designer based in London) Menswear presented in Paris

Charaf Tajer is a Parisian born fashion designer, of Moroccan descent. He is a self-taught creative director and designer, having started and collaborated with brands from a young age. This ranges from the French creative collective Pain Au ChoKolat, to renowned streetwear brand Pigalle, a collection with Off White and consulting to Supreme. Charaf deeply believes in idealism: “I want to spread beauty and self-confidence, to express what’s beautiful in the world and about the world, and in all of us. My wish is for CASABLANCA to join the legacy of French luxury brands and to signal a new wave of classic brands.”

CHOPOVA LOWENA by Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena (Bulgarian-American designer and British designer based in London) Womenswear presented in London

The pair met while studying at Central Saint Martins, then went on to complete the MA course at CSM as a duo. While on the MA, the duo developed their signature piece, the recycled folkloric textile skirt, which hangs off of a leather belt with carabiner clips. This design was picked up by Matchesfashion.com in 2018 and developed as a capsule collection. The pair continued to build on their use of recycled and deadstock fabrics, utilization of traditional techniques and their sustainable approach. The juxtaposition of folkloric references and sportswear modernize their use of traditional textiles and elevate them into modern pieces with a punk twist.

NICHOLAS DALEY by Nicholas Daley (British designer based in London) Menswear presented in London

Since launching his eponymous label in 2015. Since the brand’s genesis, Nicholas has continually explored his dual-ethnic heritage, being of Jamaican and Scottish descent: he widely questions and reflects on the notion of multiculturalism within the British identity. Placing great significance on craftsmanship with his production within the UK and Japan, Nicholas works with recognized artisans creating bespoke textiles and fabric finishes for every collection. For the last six seasons Nicholas has been supported by The British Fashion Council’s Newgen designer program showcasing his collections during London Fashion Week Men’s. He was also the recipient of the 2019 International Woolmark Prize Semi-Final Award, presenting a custom collection entitled ‘Reggae Klub’. He has collaborated with iconic brands such as Adidas and Fred Perry, pursuing his creative narrative into new areas of the fashion market.

PETER DO by Peter Do (American designer based in New York) Womenswear presented in Paris

Born in Vietnam Peter Do lives and creates in New York City. He won the inaugural 2014 LVMH Graduate Prize and launched his eponymous label in 2018. Peter Do was built on the internet and founded on tailoring and craftmanship with a “Made in NYC” initiative to support local crafts. Peter Do only produces to order, and reuses most of its fabrics season after season to prevent any wasted yardage.

SINDISO KHUMALO by Sindiso Khumalo (South African designer based in Cape Town) Womenswear presented in Milan

Sindiso founded her eponymous label in 2015 with a passion for modern and sustainable clothing with an emphasis on African history. She studied architecture at the University of Cape Town before moving to London, where she worked for architect David Adjaye. She then went on to do a Masters in textiles futures at Central St Martins. Inspired by her mother who was an activist, Sindiso has been motivated to bring values of social equality and female empowerment into her brand. With textiles and craft at the heart of her collections, she works closely with NGOs and small workshops in South Africa and Burkina Faso producing unique handwoven and hand embroidered textiles for her collections. Her interests lie in the representations of black women from the turn of the 20th century and up to the 1980s, with a focus on portraiture during that period. Each garment thus tells a story about Africa and Women Empowerment.

SUPRIYA LELE by Supriya Lele (British-Indian designer based in London) Womenswear presented in London

Lele’s first campaign, shot by Jamie Hawkesworth, was released in September – with a follow-up campaign by Hawkesworth due to be unveiled in February 2020. Lele graduated from the Royal College of Art in July 2016. After showcasing under the Fashion East scheme for three seasons, Supriya was awarded full NEWGEN sponsorship from the British Fashion Council. Supriya Lele’s work is deeply rooted in her own cross-cultural point of view, associating her Indian heritage and British cultural identity alongside her passion for minimalism in design. Lele explores the materiality of her culture employing a deliberately lo-fi and subversive approach to textiles, cut and fabrication, elevating these visual codes through a sense of ‘new luxury.’

TOMO KOIZUMI by Tomotoka Koizumi (Japanese designer based in Tokyo) Womenswear presented in Tokyo

“Tomo Koizumi” was successfully launched in 2011, after a boutique owner became interested and picked one of his dresses – which he created while he was a university student. He started as a stylist and costume artist assistant, before moving on to his next career step, becoming a costume designer. In February 2019, his very first runway show took place in New York with the support of the world-famous Katie Grand, Marc Jacobs, and KCD Public Relations, Inc. Two of his pieces were exhibited at the MET museum. The museum bought one of his works for its permanent collection. In 2019, he was selected as part of BoF500 by the BoF. Bright colors and bold silhouettes are the signature of his made-to-order collections and costumes, that international celebrities and artists love.