LVMH Young Designer 2016: Grace Wales Bonner
The young British designer will receive monetary aid and mentoring support from the luxury conglomerate for a year.
Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury group has just named its latest ‘Young Designer 2016’, and it is 25-year-old Briton Grace Wales Bonner who helms the label Wales Bonner. LVMH is the parent group of fashion giants Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Fendi, among others.
Currently in her fourth season, Wales Bonner was awarded the prestigious title, together with €300,000 that will aid the advancement of her label and support from the luxury conglomerate for a year.
“I feel quite emotional,” the former Saint Martin’s student said after the ceremony. “I’m just going to work towards building out the show, I’m not going to let it change things too much, because I have a very specific vision of how I want things to work. I think the mentoring is going to be really helpful to me, and understanding how I can scale the business up and how I can bring people into the team.”
It wasn’t an easy win either – she was chosen by a panel that included established designers J.W. Anderson, Nicolas Ghesquire, Marc Jacobs Karl Lagerfeld, Ricardo Tisci and Pierre-Yves Roussel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH. Wales Bonner’s contemporary approach to African and European influences earned her the title.
Young Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski’s Vejas label also earned him €150,000 in prize money and a mentoring program. “We’re going to invest in developing footwear, and of course what really drives most brands financially is accessories,” he said of his plans for the label. Actress Lea Seydoux handed the prize to Wales Bonner at the third edition of the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, succeeding Marques Almeida, who won the award in 2015.