Over the weekend, the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography returned for its 33rd edition, in the coastal town of Hyères, South of France. The competition, which has nurtured bright young talents in fashion since 1986, culminated in a five-day finale event, featuring exhibitions, catwalk shows, workshops and award ceremonies.
In 1997, it extended the competition to include emerging photographers, and this year for the second time, young accessories designers were given the opportunity to participate for a prize.
Set within the breathtaking grounds of Villa Noailles, built by architect Robert Mallet-Stevens in 1923, the festival offers valuable exposure and opportunities to emerging talents via financial support, mentorship programs, media visibility, and a network of valuable contacts.
The competition received 300 entries from over 60 countries resulting in ten shortlisted fashion designers, ten shortlisted accessories designers, and ten shortlisted photographers all competing for a series of prizes. The winners were selected on Sunday 29th by a jury of industry experts in their respected fields.
The festival celebrates a continued partnership of 20 years with the House of Berluti, as well as partnerships with global textile trade show Première Vision, Swarovski, Chloé, and Galeries Lafayette amongst others.
Première Vision Grand Prize
The grand prize for fashion sponsored by Première Vision was awarded to Dutch label Botter for their ‘Fish or Fight’ menswear collection. Helmed by design couple Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, the label offers a playful aesthetic infused with a Caribbean flavour. Balancing classic staples and deconstructed silhouettes, colour, texture and unexpected detail are the label’s core DNA.
Born in Curaçao, Botter spent a large part of his life in Amsterdam. He launched his eponymous label in 2017 alongside Herreburgh, for his Master's collection at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.
Half Dominican, half Dutch, Lisi Herrebrugh grew up travelling between the two countries. She studied at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and honed her technical skills by working for Viktor & Rolf.
The grand prize jury panel included fashion designers Haider Ackermann and Delfina Delettrez alongside co-founder of Dazed Media Jefferson Hack, renowned actress Tilda Swinton and Vanessa Schindler, winner of the 2017 Première Vision Grand Prize.
Botter will receive a grant of €15,000 euros from Première Vision and the opportunity to take part in Chanel's Métiers d'Art – a project which honours fine craftsmanship – worth up to €15,000. In addition, Botter will receive a grant of €10,000 from the label Petit Bateau, along with the chance to create an exclusive collection for the brand.
Fashion Accessories Grand Prize
The grand prize for fashion accessories, sponsored by Swarovski, was awarded to a trio of innovators: designers Flora Fixy and Julia Dessirier, and the photographer Kate Fichard, for their ‘Hearring’ collection, that transforms functional hearing aids into sleek, sculpted jewellery pieces.
Created by Fichard and designed by Fixy and Dessirier, of Parisian-based mixed media design studio F and D Studio, the collection aims to challenge perceptions of disability via provocative designs. They receive a grant of €15,000 from Swarovski, as well as, the opportunity to undertake a project with Chanel's Métiers d'Art worth up to €15,000.
Christelle Kocher, artistic director of Maison Lemarié and founder of her eponymous label Koché Paris was president of the accessories jury panel. Hirofumi Kurino, co-founder of Japanese retailer United Arrows was also a judge, alongside designer Floriana Gavriel, founder of cult accessories label Mansur Gavriel.
Montreal-born Marie-Eve Lecavalier received a special mention from the jury, landing her the Chloé Prize for fashion worth 15,000 euros. Currently undertaking a placement at Raf Simons in Antwerp, her experimental modern aesthetic and psychedelic references offer a refreshing point of difference.