London-based designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques’Almeida have just been awarded the LVMH Prize in Paris today. The seven finalists, selected in March, had just ten minutes today to present to the superstar LVMH jury — Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Jonathan Anderson, Karl Lagerfeld, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Phoebe Philo, Raf Simons, and Riccardo Tisci. Actress Natalie Portman was on hand to present the trophy.
The award also includes a yearlong mentorship with the LVMH group, including financial guidance and access to the group’s production and distribution intel.
Last year’s inaugural prizewinner, London-based designer Thomas Tait, is proof of the success of this initiative. His fall 2015 collection, the first collection to fully benefit from the funding and LVMH guidance, was universally well-received. "The money helped me get out of trouble and catch up on production, and the mentoring found me three factories in Europe," Tait told Style.com in February.
As with last year, a last-minute "runner-up" prize was awarded. This year it was French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus of Jacquemus, who will be given 150,000 euros as well as the mentorship.
Stay tuned to the Cut for an interview with the winners later today.