On friday, the French Ministry of Culture held the 28th edition of the highly celebrated ANDAM prize - the first fashion prize in France, founded in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour. 25 jury members comprising fashion executives, editors and industry leaders, as well as the thirteen finalists gathered for the ceremony on the eve of couture week in Paris. Under the French acronym for the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts, the annual prize is open to designers of all nationalities willing to establish a business in France, and has acted as a launch pad for numerous designers including the likes of Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire and Jeremy Scott.
Parisian label du moment Y/Project scooped the Grand prize, who will receive a funding of €280,000, a year-long creative and strategic business mentorship from president and chief executive officer of Yves Saint Laurent, Francesca Bellettini, and €10,000 worth of Swarovski crystals to be used following his fellowship.
Helmed by Belgian designer, Glenn Martens, who attended Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the award comes at a crucial time for the label, which is in the process of restructuring and major developments including new factory connections in France and Portugal.
“We’re growing fast and it’s extremely difficult to keep up with all the requests. We have no backers and it’s like, every day waiting for the shops to give us their pre-payments. This is a big deal for us, it’s definitely going to help” said Martens upon winning the prize.
Known for his masterful deconstruction techniques, laidback street aesthetic and exaggerated undulating volumes, the prize is sure to optimize the future of the promising label.
Paris-based indie label Avoc received the Creative Label prize - worth €112,000 - along with a year’s worth of mentoring from co-founder and co-executive chairman of Matchesfashion.com, Ruth Chapman. The buying teams of French retailer Galeries Lafayette will also provide further mentoring sessions, while placing the brand’s next two collections for sale in its Paris flagship premium space.
The Accessories Design Prize was awarded to Brazilian jewelry designer Ana Khouri, who scooped a grant of €56,000, while the newest prize addition, Fashion Innovation - worth €33,000 - was received by Audrey-Laure Bergenthal of the brand Euveka. The prize was awarded for her development of ‘smart mannequins’, which adjust to data input for fitting. Bergenthal will receive mentoring from executive president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, Pascal Morand, who will aid in the development of structuring her business.