In light of the coronavirus pandemic, there'll be no 2020 LVMH Prize winner

2020 LVMH Prize finalists. Image: LVMH Prize Instagram account
2020 LVMH Prize finalists. Image: LVMH Prize Instagram account

The 2020 LVMH Prize finale which was due to take place at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris on 5 June, has now been cancelled due to the global onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prize money of 300 000 euros (about R5.4 million) will now be shared equally among the eight young designers who made the shortlist from all around the world - one of whom is South Africa's Sindiso Khumalo.

READ MORE: We're crossing fingers for another LVMH Prize victory as SA's Sindiso Khumalo makes it onto the 2020 shortlist 

According to Business of Fashion (BoF), LVMH has also pledged to support previous winners of the prize with a new fund. This includes Thebe Magugu (who took home the prize in 2019 in an unprecedented win), Doublet, Marine Serre, Wales Bonner, Marques Almeida, Thomas Tait and Miuniku who will all be able to apply for grants. Additionally, "six previous winners of the LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Prize will also be eligible for support", BoF reports. 

Louis Vuitton Executive Vice President Delphine Arnault, said in a statement; "In this challenging context, this Fund in aid of young fashion designers highlights the main mission of the LVMH Prize by supporting our former winners.”

READ MORE: Thebe Magugu becomes first-ever African designer to win the prestigious LVMH Prize

In their Instagram announcement post, LVMH Prize expressed the following in part of their caption; "The health crisis poses an economic threat to young talent. That is why the LVMH Prize has set up a Fund in aid of young fashion designers that will notably be supplemented by the 2020 Karl Lagerfeld Prize allocation. 

"In virtue of the bond of solidarity within the LVMH Prize community, this Fund will benefit all the winning designers and their brands awarded with the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers and the Karl Lagerfeld Prize over the six previous editions, upon application." 

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? Special Announcement ? As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the final of the 7th edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, originally scheduled on 5th June 2020 at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, has been cancelled. This year, the allocation of the LVMH Prize will be awarded to the eight finalists of the 2020 edition who were selected by the committee of Experts during the semi-final on 27th and 28th February 2020. The 300,000-euro award will be distributed equally among the finalists. The health crisis poses an economic threat to young talent. That is why the LVMH Prize has set up a Fund in aid of young fashion designers that will notably be supplemented by the 2020 Karl Lagerfeld Prize allocation. In virtue of the bond of solidarity within the LVMH Prize community, this Fund will benefit all the winning designers and their brands awarded with the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers and the Karl Lagerfeld Prize over the six previous editions, upon application. Details of the program will be provided at a later date. Delphine Arnault declares: “Since its launch, the LVMH Prize has promoted and nurtured young talent. Each year, it places the spotlight on young designers from all over the world and supports the development of their companies. In this challenging context, this Fund in aid of young fashion designers highlights the main mission of the LVMH Prize by supporting our former winners.” #lvmhprize #lvmhprize2020

A post shared by LVMHPrize (@lvmhprize) on

This year's jury included the likes of Rihanna, Virgil Abloh and Stella McCartney, whose role in selecting a winner has been halted by yet another historic move brought on by a pandemic that will change the industry as we know it, once the dust has settled.

READ MORE: Fashion will have to redesign itself in order to survive beyond the Covid-19 pandemic  

And while we were crossing fingers for a second South African win under our belts with Sindiso Khumalo, there are a few murmurs from the fashion fraternity about how cancelling the 2020 prize has robbed New York-based Peter Do of his (anticipated) win.

However, this young Vietnamese designer doesn't feel slighted by the decision, telling BoF that he thinks the decision to share the final award money is "the right thing to do."

"It’s good for everyone and sends the right message and support to independent designers. The prize means... we can make sure that every member who has helped build the brand with blood, sweat and tears is supported at this time," Peter Do reportedly expressed in an email.

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