The inaugural LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize will be presented to one lucky up-and-coming designer under 40 with at least two collections, and while nine of the 12 nominees are womenswear designers, three of the finalists—Tim Coppens, Tillmann Lauterbach, and Hood by Air's Shayne Oliver—are being recognized for their forward-thinking approaches to menswear.
The prize?300,000 (about $415,000 at current exchange) and a year of mentoring and support from LVMH designers and executives. If that's not daunting enough, the panel of judges are only some of the biggest names in the industry, including Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Kenzo's Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Phoebe Philo, Raf Simons, and Riccardo Tisci.
To qualifBelow, an introduction to the guys who are competing against each other—and nine women's design operations—for the top prize.
Lauterbach's clothing celebrates simplicity and elegance, but he likes rough edges, too. "My approach is very artisanal," he says in a statement on his website. "I like making things with my hands."
His father reportedly wanted him to be a banker, but Lauterbach's passion for design was so strong that he modeled in business school to finance an education in fashion. After graduating from Esmod, a design school in Paris, in 2003, he launched a women's collection in 2005 and a men's line two years later. However, he closed the women's line in 2008 and was forced to stop producing the men's in 2011 after his investors went bankrupt. Fortunately, he was able to relaunch the men's line last year.
• • •
Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air
Though he's only presented two collections at New York Fashion Week, Shayne Oliver has managed to impress everyone from A$AP Rocky (who walked in his Fall 2013 show) to the buyers at Opening Ceremony and Barneys New York.
Oliver was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology for a brief period before leaving to start his own collection in 2006. His clothes are highly influenced by street culture and skaters, whom he says taught him how to dress like a man. But Oliver notes there tends to be deeper meaning in the clothes he sends down the runway.
"It's not even about masculinity," he recently told WWD. "It was about raw and powerful pieces that were about styling and techniques of looking a certain way, and also what social meaning pieces have in general. Why the product is talking to you."
• • •
The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist makes clothing that merges an athletic, street-focused attitude with luxurious fabrics.
In 1998, Coppens graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the same school that gave us Dries Van Noten and Walter Van Bierendonck. After stints at Bogner (a German company known for its ski wear), Adidas, and Ralph Lauren's RLX line, he started his eponymous collection in 2011 and won the prestigious Ecco Domani Award for Best New Menswear Designer the following year. Just a year after that he was recognized as the Fashion Group International's Rising Star of the Year.
Stay tuned for the prize winner and all the latest LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize news.
—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.
• • •