The fashion world has been hit with yet another cancellation, this time from the 2020 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
The annual event was originally scheduled to take place on 5 June, when it would announce the winner of its €300,000 (S$463,483.17) cash prize. Instead, this year’s LVMH Prize will be shared equally among all eight finalists, granting them €40,000 (S$61,781.25) each.
The cancellation comes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already caused other events to be shelved, such as the 2020 Met Gala and several Fashion Week shows around the world. The decision was also made to protect younger fashion businesses, to whom “the health crisis poses an economic threat,” as noted in an Instagram post by the LVMH Prize.
Some of the designers that were in the running for the prize include London-based Supriya Lele, whose designs have already found a fan in Bella Hadid, as well as Tomo Koizumi, whose larger-than-life tulle dresses made technicolour waves at New York Fashion Week last year. Peter Do, who was an apprentice to Phoebe Philo at Céline and is now often considered as her sartorial successor, is another crowd favourite.
The eight finalists would have presented their collections to this year’s star-studded panel of judges, including Rihanna, Stella McCartney, Clare Waight Keller and Virgil Abloh, who is a former runner-up of the prestigious award himself.
On top of repurposing the LVMH Prize, the runner-up Karl Lagerfeld Prize of €150,000 (S$231,799.50) will also be converted into a fund for previous winners and finalists of the main award, such as Marine Serre, Jacquemus and Grace Wales Bonner.
This isn’t the fashion industry’s only attempt to offer aid to its emerging talents, who bear the brunt of the pandemic’s economic impact. Early this month, resources from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was channelled into A Common Thread, a fundraising initiative for affected American fashion businesses. In the UK, fashion students and brands that are struggling to stay afloat can also seek assistance from the British Fashion Council, who has pooled a total of £1,000,000 (S$1,752,070) for its Foundation Covid Crisis Fund.