Photo: Courtesy LVMH
Each year, the LVMH Prize scours the globe for the next generation of influential fashion designers with the hopes of bolstering their business with a little LVMH shine. This year “over 1,900 candidates from all over the world applied,” reports Delphine Arnault, the executive vice president of Louis Vuitton and director of the Prize. “This success demonstrates the importance of the LVMH Prize internationally: many young designers have realized just how decisive this Prize is for their careers, as it helps to showcase and nurture the talents of tomorrow.”
The 2022 shortlist spans continents and ages, with the 20 semifinalists coming from Ghent, Lagos, Dublin, Tokyo, and beyond. The global nature of fashion resonates with Arnault, who looks to the successes of the 2021 winners—Nensi Dojaka took home the grand prize, KidSuper, Lukhanyo Mdingi, and Rui the Karl Lagerfeld special prize—as a sign for fashion’s next chapter. “The class of 2021 has shown great ability in approaching the new world: they all have e-commerce sites, are present on social media and embrace a way of creating and producing that takes into account the challenges of our industry,” she says. “The class of 2021 was also a beautiful symbol of diversity: Nensi was born and raised in Albania, Lukhanyo is South African, Rui comes from Hunan in China… Young designers don’t necessarily express themselves in one of the world’s fashion capitals such as Paris, London, New York or Milan.”
An in-person showroom will take place in Paris on March 4 and March 5, while the virtual showroom and voting online will continue. “I’m very excited that the experts”—including actress and LV ambassador Léa Seydoux and new expert Cindy Sherman—“who can attend will meet the semi-finalists in person and see their work,” says Arnault, “[and] we all hope that the 2022 Final will be held physically. It is very important for the semi-finalists to meet the Experts and they all confirm how inspiring these encounters are for their work.”
Until then, meet the 2022 LVMH Prize semifinalists below and stay tuned for the final, coming later this spring.
Airei, menswear brand designed by Drew Curry in Los Angeles, California, USA
Amesh, genderless brand designed by Amesh Wijesekera in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Ashlyn, womenswear brand designed by Ashlynn Park in New York, New York, USA
Bluemarble, menswear brand designed by Anthony Alvarez Graff in Paris, France
Chenpeng, genderless brand designed by Peng Chen in Shanghai, China
ERL, menswear, womenswear, and genderless brand desigend by Eli Russell Linnetz in Venice Beach, California, USA
Goomheo, menswear and genderless brand designed by Goom Heo in London, UK
KNWLS, womenswear brand designed by Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault in London, UK
Maximilian, womenswear brand designed by Maximilian Davis in London, UK
Meryll Rogge, womenswear brand designed by Meryll Rogge in Ghent, Belgium
Niccolò Pasqualetti, genderless brand designed by Niccolò Pasqualetti in Tuscany, Italy
Palomo Spain, genderless brand designed by Alejandro Gomez Palomo in Córdoba, Spain
Paula Canovas del Vas, womenswear brand designed by Paula Canovas del Vas in London, UK
Róisín Pierce, womenswear brand designed by Róisín Pierce in Dublin, Ireland
Ryunosukeokazaki, genderless brand designed by Ryunosuke Okazaki in Tokyo, Japan
S.S. Daley, menswear brand designed by Steven Stokey-Daley in London, UK
Tokyo James, menswear brand designed by Iniye Tokyo James in Lagos, Nigeria
Weinsanto, womenswear brand designed by Victor Brunstein Weinsanto in Paris, France
Winnie NY, menswear brand designed by Idris Balogun in New York, New York, USA
Yueqi Qi, genderless brand designed by Yueqi Qi in Shanghai, China
Originally published in Vogue.com
Photo: Courtesy LVMH
Inside La Samaritaine – Paris. Courtesy Karla Otto
Before French President Emmanuel Macron met with Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey, at the Elysées Palace in Paris, he was alongside LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault to cut the proverbial ribbon on one of the most beloved department stores in all of France. The reopening of la Samaritaine—affectionately referred to as “la Samar” by Parisians—has finally occurred, 16 years after closing for renovations.
La Samaritaine Paris. Photo by Matthieu Salvaing. Courtesy Karla Otto
The department store is featured in a 1907 steel frame and glass Art Nouveau building by Belgian architect Frantz Jourdain that overlooks the Seine on the right bank in the 1st arrondissement. It is listed as a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture since 1990. La Samaritaine houses the French art de vivre, which translates to shopping, eating, and culture. No less than X fashion houses are curated to offer a very French mix and match style–think Alaïa, Loewe, Alexander McQueen, Chloé, Chanel, but also regional names like Shourouk and Vanina are alongside a blend of Scandi-cool brands like Ganni, Rotate, and Rains. Meanwhile, avant-garde Parisian sneaker brand Shinzo Paris offers a unique concept featuring 100 m2 of exclusive, ethical, and responsible sneakers, each one fulfilling one of their five criteria: local, recycled, vegan, organic, or reconditioned. Look closely and shoppers will see there are many limited editions and previews available to La Samaritaine along with what is the biggest beauty space in Europe exclusively featuring Dolce & Gabbana Beauty, Helena Rubinstein, Clé de Peau Beauté, SK-II, Fragonard, Orveda, and Sulwhasoo. There are also five beauty spaces including a spa and a house of perfume.
La Samaritaine beauty space. Photo by Matthieu Salvaing. Courtesy Karla Otto
There are 12 spaces to eat everything from caviar to burgers, while books by Assouline and a pop-up Perrotin Gallery will seduce tourists and Parisians alike. Take the elevators to the top to witness the spectacular Art Nouveau peacock fresco restored to its former glory. At 3.5 meters high and 115 meters long, it is the work of the architect Jourdain’s son Francis. Alternatively, shoppers can also climb the 270 original oak steps . The railing has been restored with 16000 gold leaves. The artist Francis was also commissioned by his father to decorate the store facade with enameled Volvic lava that serve to soften the structure. Adding a touch of contemporary architecture are the glass waves forming the facade of the Rivoli street side designed by Japanese architects of the Sanaa agency.
For a lucky few, after a full day of shopping and sightseeing, La Samaritaine is adjoined by a Cheval Blanc Paris hotel, complete with a Dior Spa.
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Photo credits: Julien Hekimian
Rihanna’s LVMH-backed fashion house Fenty is shuttering less than two years after its launch. The luxury conglomerate has pledged to support Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin and to back the businesswoman’s successful lingerie line Savage X Fenty, with the help of private equity giant L Catterton, which recently led a $115 million Series B fundraising round for the underwear arm of Rihanna’s Fenty umbrella.
“LVMH and Rihanna reaffirm their ambition to concentrate on the growth and the long-term development of the Fenty ecosystem, focusing on cosmetics, skincare and lingerie,” LVMH and Rihanna told WWD, citing the decision to put the ready-to-wear activity on hold as pending “better conditions”.
Indeed, the pandemic left Rihanna estranged from the Fenty atelier in Paris and the Italian manufacturing outlets that are vital to its direct-to-consumer retail model. For a hands-on designer – who once told Vogue, “I know what’s gone into the making of every single piece… if I can’t wear my stuff then it just won’t work” – this separation, during an incubation period when Rihanna was still getting a handle on the luxury fashion market – proved too costly. While the US-based Fenty Beauty soared in popularity, the European Fenty maison never gained global traction.
Eagle-eyed Rihanna fans will have already been pondering the reason why @Fenty stopped posting via Instagram on 1 January, and halted its six-to-eight week micro collection drops in November. Its last marketing push was around its second Amina Muaddi collaboration. The sass-laden heels, reflecting the Fenty DNA and Muaddi’s own feminine-meets-sculptural aesthetic, were a highlight of the Fenty offering, along with the Instagrammable sunglasses which found favour among the model set. WWD reports that it is understood the e-commerce site will go dark in the next few weeks.
Upon unveiling her groundbreaking Fenty fashion house and rewriting the rulebook at a storied luxury stable, Rihanna told Vogue, “I really appreciate that LVMH is flexible enough to allow me to have a different perspective on how I want to release things. Mr Arnault [Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO, LVMH] is not an idiot, he’s a very smart man and he’s open.” Ultimately, Fenty’s bottom line was not up to LVMH’s high standards in a tough climate for all fashion brands. Here’s hoping that fashion’s power player does not give up on the first luxury fashion brand it started from scratch – and the first helmed by a Black woman.
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Originally published on Vogue.co.uk