“There is something about Portugal and the Portuguese — a different perspective as though they are seeing something for the first time,” said Karl Lagerfeld, one of the star-spangled jury who judged the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers 2015.
Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida were the recipients of the €300,000 prize, presented to them by Natalie Portman. The prize includes the crucial monitoring and business planning to build further the duo’s British-based Marques’ Almeida womenswear brand.
Delphine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton, the instigator of the young talent project, also announced that Simon Porte, the designer behind the French Jacquemus label of intriguing cuts and holes, would receive a €150,000 prize, also with the all-important monitoring.
Delphine said that the decision had been difficult. “They were all really good, but we had to make a choice.” The executive said: “The winners are very creative and artistic.”
The jury included the cream of LVMH designers including Raf Simons of Dior, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Phoebe Philo of Celine, Nicolas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton — and more.
The winners, although Portuguese in their bright colours apparently inspired by vivid Mediterranean shades, were trained at Central Saint Martins College of Art and design by the late Professor Louise Wilson.
Designs by Marques’ Almeida
Natalie Portman presents the prize
“Coming to England was like seeing everything in fashion for the first time,” said Marta Marques, who set up in business with her partner four years ago.
Three other LVMH international graduate prizes awards were handed out by Delphine Arnault. Staged in the dramatic Louis Vuitton Foundation for Art, designed by the architect Frank Gehry on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, the LVMH Award, now in its second year, has become an important cradle for emerging talent.
Also on the shortlist were the duo behind Coperni, who backed out after joining the French house of Courrèges. Others included Austrian Arthur Arbesser; British Craig Green; French-born Faustine Steinmetz, who creates imaginative denim looks; Off-White c/o Virgil ABloh, an American working out of Milan; and Georgian Demna Gvasslia.
Meanwhile in London Nadja Swarovski has named design duo Peter Pilotto as winners of the inaugural Swarovski Collective Award.