The LVMH prize, a golden springboard

Japanese designer Satoshi Kuwata receives the LVMH Prize on June 7 from actress Gal Gadot, under the gaze of Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of women's collections at Louis Vuitton.

“Where’s Satoshi?” » This question, Satoshi Kuwata’s mother has asked so often, bothered by her fidgety son. Now 39, Satoshi was easy to spot on Wednesday, June 7: all smiles on the immaculate stage set up at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris, he was declared the winner of the tenth edition of the LVMH fashion award. The Japanese based in Milan already knows how he will use the 400,000 euros he has just won: “Hire, develop my website, launch shoes and bags”, he details.

Read also: Fashion: Satoshi Kuwata wins the 2023 LVMH prize

The wardrobe of her brand, Setchu, inspired by her travels, her taste for fishing and which promotes transformable pieces (from an unbuttoning, a sweater can mutate into a vest, etc.), was chosen from 2,400 candidates by the jury. of the French luxury group. This is made up each year of three senior executives from the group (Delphine Arnault, CEO of Dior, Jean-Paul Claverie, director of LVMH sponsorship, Sidney Toledano, CEO of LVMH Fashion Group) and the artistic directors of its houses: Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Kim Jones for Dior, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, Nigo for Kenzo, Silvia Venturini Fendi for Fendi, as well as Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney.

Express ceremony

All are there on stage, four-star army, behind Delphine Arnault who, using a teleprompter, leads an express ceremony: eight minutes watch in hand for 800,000 euros of sponsorship committed. In addition to the LVMH Prize awarded to Satoshi Kuwata, two Karl Lagerfeld prizes – jury mentions – were awarded. One, to Julie Pelipas, a 38-year-old Ukrainian based in London and awarded for her label Bettter, who “overcycle” suits to make dresses or suits.

The other, with the feverish and determined Luca Magliano, 36, who lives in Bologna, the city from which he draws inspiration to imagine a nonchalant wardrobe that disregards conventional codes. “Everyone imagines fierce competition. But no, for our promotion, there was a form of solidarity, of listening”, he assures. In the weeks leading up to the final, he and his contestants created a WhatsApp group, to share emojis and last-minute cheers.

“This year, all the finalists had a particular maturity, underlines the juror Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s collections at Dior. They are not young people who have just graduated, but thirty-year-olds who have worked in houses and are fighting to set up their own independent brand. Look at Satoshi Kuwata, whose studio is tight and who has only one collaborator. It is all the more important to support them at this time. »

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