Vive le runner-up!
For its 2022 edition, French fashion competition ANDAM has added a Special Prize worth 100,000 euros alongside its Grand Prize of 300,000 euros, reflecting the generosity of new and established sponsors — and recognizing the wealth of high-caliber talents the awards have been attracting recently.
In addition, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion and president of Chanel SAS, who was mentor of the 2015 ANDAM awards, will offer one-year mentorships to the big winner and the runner-up, coaching both on the creative and strategic dimensions of their fledgling businesses.
“More than ever, young creativity is important, and the latest edition proved that the question is not having to find talents — there is a wealth of them — but how to equip and help these talents in their entrepreneurial adventures,” he said.
Unveiling details of its latest edition exclusively to WWD, ANDAM’s executive director Nathalie Dufour also touted the richness of talent recent editions have attracted, and noted that the new, special prize could provide a leg-up to a budding designer with a smaller business footprint, as the jury pays close attention to revenue figures.
She also trumpeted the arrival of two digital powerhouses as sponsors — Instagram and Mytheresa.com — offering this year’s winners the chance to tap into a digital-savvy braintrust to hone their communication and distribution strategies.
Applications are now open at andam.fr until March 31, with the finalists to be revealed at the end of May and the prize ceremony scheduled for June 30. The jury is to be unveiled in February.
Bianca Saunders beat out the other six finalists — GmbH, Wales Bonner, Area, Rokh, Ludovic de Saint-Sernin and Casablanca — to scoop the 2021 prize. The British men’s wear designer is set to parade her latest collection on Jan. 19 during men’s fashion week in Paris, marking her debut on the French runway.
High-profile international fashion competitions have been enriching their payouts and multiplying their trophies in recent years, with the LVMH Prize handing out special, runner-up prizes to the likes of Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver, Simon Porte Jacquemus and others. It was renamed the Karl Lagerfeld Prize in 2019 in tribute to the legendary German designer, who died that year.
In an interview, Dufour said ANDAM will now pay out a total of 600,000 euros to budding talents, the highest endowment since the prize was established in 1989. ANDAM, the French acronym for National Association of the Development of the Fashion Arts, bumped up the value of the Grand Prize to 300,000 euros last year. Previously, it was 250,000 euros.
The level of support has vastly increased because of the arrival of large corporate sponsors, which now include Balenciaga, Chanel, Chloé, Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Galeries Lafayette, Google France, Hermès, Kering, Lacoste, Longchamp, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal Paris, OTB, Premiere Classe, Saint Laurent, Swarovski and Tomorrow.
The French Ministry of Culture and the DEFI, a body that promotes the development of the French fashion industry, are also key historic public partners of ANDAM.
ANDAM also offers the Pierre Bergé Prize, which focuses on young French companies and is worth 100,000 euros; a Fashion Accessories Prize, which comes with a sum of 50,000 euros, and a tech-focused Innovation Prize, also valued at 50,000 euros.
Frédéric Maus, general director of WSN Developpement, organizer of the Who’s Next and Premiere Classe trade fairs, is to mentor the winner of the accessories prize; Stefano Martinetto, founder and chief executive officer of Tomorrow, is to mentor the winner of Pierre Bergé Prize, while Creative Valley founder and president Yann Gozlan will coach the Innovation Prize victor, typically an entrepreneur or start-up.
Reflecting on his mentoring of ANDAM’s 2015 winner, Stéphane Ashpool of streetwear brand Pigalle Paris, Pavlovsky said coaching involves “honest, frank conversations,” and creating bespoke development advice, noting that Ashpool’s brand has a community aspect and encompasses not only fashion but sports, music and video.
Pavlovsky seems uniquely positioned to help ANDAM fulfill its goal of assuring the role of Paris as a key fashion capital, having just inaugurated Le 19M, Chanel’s new hub for specialty ateliers including embroiders, cobblers and silversmiths.
In an interview, Pavolvsky said the concentration of craftsmanship and savoir-faire in Paris, coupled with the international nature of its fashion week, makes the city a beacon for fashion creatives from around the world.
He also pointed to a broader ecosystem — encompassing the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography and the Institut Français de la Mode fashion school — for burnishing the attractiveness of France’s fashion and luxury industry.
Dufour concurred: “Doing a fashion show in Paris immediately gives a label more luxurious cachet. It’s why young designers and brands converge on Paris. Paris is a dream.”
Candidates for ANDAM’s grand prizes can be of any nationality, but must own a French company or set one up during the same year as the receipt of the fellowship. (Applicants must also have shipped at least two seasonal collections internationally and have registered a minimum turnover of 100,000 euros in 2021.)
Eva Chen, vice president of fashion partnerships at Instagram, touted the photo-sharing platform as a key home for emerging designers.
“When working with independent brands, we see that they often have deeply passionate and engaged followers who’ve followed the journey of these businesses and their creative directors from the very start,” she said, noting that this year’s winners will receive “dedicated mentorship, so that they may learn how to make the most of Instagram and Meta family of apps” and “foster meaningful conversations and community on our platforms.”
Created in 1989 by Dufour with the support of the French government and the DEFI and with the late Pierre Bergé as president, ANDAM has been a springboard for designers who would go on to achieve international recognition.
Past winners include Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire, Anthony Vaccarello and Jeremy Scott.