About a month ago, the semifinalists for the 2015 LVMH Prize were announced, and Off-White designer Virgil Abloh made the cut, as did designers Craig Green, Nasir Mazhar, Alex Orley, and Demna Gvasalia of Vetements, among others. Today, the LVMH Prize committee has revealed the list of eight finalists, and Abloh is the only American still in the running. A huge win for him.
Each of the other seven finalists are European designers or design teams, according to WWD: Arthur Arbesser from Austria, French designers Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, British designer Craig Green, French designer Faustine Steinmetz, Portuguese designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, and German designer Demna Gvasalia.
The finalists were selected by 45 experts from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton after they got a chance to view collections by the 26 semifinalists during Paris Fashion Week. "Even if you’re not one of the eight finalists, the visibility you get from the showroom, and seeing all the people from the fashion industry, is really great for building awareness around your brand," Louis Vuitton's Delphine Arnault told WWD. "Conversations for me are everything," said Abloh. "One conversation with the right person at the right time can be the spark that creates a genre-defining moment. During the process of the prize thus far, I have had about 10 of those conversations."
On May 22, the finalists will present their collections for 10 minutes to a jury at Fondation Louis Vuitton that includes Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, Riccardo Tisci, and Kenzo creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. The winner of the LVMH Prize will walk away with around $300,000 and a year-long mentorship and support from LVMH. For more about the selection process and the finalists, visit the LVMH Prize website.