ANDAM 2021 names 14 finalists; including Casablanca, GmbH and Grace Wales Bonner
ANDAM, the most important independent fashion award on the continent, has chosen 14 finalists for its 2021 edition.
In an impressively packed field, London-based Grace Wales Bonner, the winner of the 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Designers, stands out as one of the favorites for the 300,000-euro award.
However, she will receive strong competition from design duo of GmbH, Serhat Işık and Benjamin A. Huseby, who were recently named creative directors of Trussardi in Italy, in a surprise appointment.
All told there are seven finalists for the top prize, including Casablanca, the happening Anglo-French label led by DJ designer Charaf Tajer; Area, by the New York duo of Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk; and Rok Hwang of London label Rokh. The seven are completed by Bianca Saunders, a finalist in this year’s LVMH Prize; and Paris-based designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin, who opened a must-see boutique in the Marais in the past year. Underlining the intensity of the competition, the jury increased the number of finalists from five to seven this year.
The seven emerged from over 300 applicants for the award of ANDAM, which stands for National Association of the Development of Fashion Arts.
The jury also boosted the finalists from three to four for its second award, the Pierre Bergé Prize worth 100,000 euros. This year they are EgonLab, Ester Manas, Uniforme Paris and Charles de Vilmorin, the Yves Saint-Laurent lookalike who has been named creative director of Rochas.
A further Accessories Prize worth 50,000 euros has three finalists; with the favorite looking like Paris jeweler Samuel François, along side Austria’s Published By, and leather goods maker Aswad.
In a bid to make ANDAM more attractive internationally, the award added star power to its jury including Lalisa Manoban of Blackpink; Chinese singer Chris Lee; Phoebe Philo, the former designer of Celine, and Kerby Jean-Raymond, the brilliant New York creative director of Pyer Moss.
ANDAM was founded in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour, and backed by the Ministry of Culture, where the prizegiving is traditionally held inside the gardens of the Palais Royal. This year the final will take place on July 1.
“The richness and diversity of the candidacies received illustrate a strong and global creative energy and confirm the attractiveness of Paris, where all these talents want to converge. I am delighted to see the power ANDAM has taken since I founded it in 1989 and glad for the constantly reinforced commitment of the biggest actors of the fashion industry,” said Dufour in a release.
Added Cédric, CEO and president of Balenciaga, and mentor this year: “The 2021 edition ANDAM finalists are each highly qualified, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the jury for a strong and aligned selection. Together with the jury, we wished to expand the quantity of finalists in order to make this edition a platform for recognizing and promoting of a greater number of talents.”
Past winners include Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf and Jeremy Scott.
All contenders must own a French company, though they may also come from any country.
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