For emerging designers, few accomplishments are as much of a coup as winning the LVMH Prize—barring, perhaps, endorsements from celebrities like Beyoncé, Bella Hadid, and Rihanna, which several of the 2022 finalists announced on Thursday have also already secured. Each and every year since 2014, the luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has scouted the best of up-and-comers with the help of a jury that reads like a who’s who of fashion: this year’s members include designers such as Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Kim Jones, Jonathan Anderson, and Maria Grazia Chiuri; critics Tim Blanks and Suzy Menkes; editors Carine Roitfeld and Edward Enninful; and models Karlie Kloss and Bella Hadid. Get to know the eight names they have their eyes on this year, here.
Designer: Eli Russell Linnetz
Location: United States
Fans: Kim Kardashian, A$AP Rocky, and Lady Gaga
At just 26, Linnetz has done it all: He’s designed sets for Lady Gaga, shot family Polaroids for Kim Kardashian, written songs for Teyana Taylor, directed two music videos for Kanye West... and voiced a character in The Emperor’s New Groove. He created ERL at the suggestion of Adrian Joffe. You’ve no doubt seen at least one of Linnetz’s designs: ERL was behind the viral quilt A$AP Rocky wore to the 2021 Met Gala.
Designer: Róisín Pierce
Fans: Natacha Ramsay-Levi (formerly of Chloé) and Chanel.
You know you’re on the right track when your very first collection takes home Chanel’s Métiers d’Art award. Since getting the house’s endorsement in 2019, Pierce has become known for her all-white, multilayered designs that often tie back to her Irish roots. (The aforementioned inaugural collection nodded to the women and children held captive at the infamous Magdalene Laundries from the 18th to late 20th centuries. Through zero-waste construction and deadstock upcycling, Pierce also remains committed to sustainability.
Designer: Ryunosuke Okazaki
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Fans: Kiko Mihuzara and Naomi Watanabe.
Born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1995, Okazaki graduated from the Tokyo University of Arts just last year. It only takes one look at his designs to recognize his intricate, avant-garde style. Modern as it looks, he’s actually inspired by Japan’s Jōmon period, which dates back to 4,000 BCE.
Designers: Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault
Location: London, England
Fans: Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Julia Fox.
It’s something of a shock that Knowles and Arsenault haven’t already won the LVMH Prize. KNWLS has become a staple for the Hadids and Jenners for years now, and is also fittingly favored by Beyoncé Knowles (though, no relation). The designers have a knack for reworking lingerie and exploring conventional notions of femininity.
Designer: Steven Stokey-Daley
Location: London, United Kingdom
Fans: Anna Wintour and Harry Styles.
The name Harry Styles—who recently tapped Stokey-Daley to outfit Mick Fleetwood for his beauty line Pleasing—says it all. The menswear designer is a newcomer to London Fashion Week, but his runway shows that literally double as theater have made him one of the most exciting names on the scene.
Designer: Iniye Tokyo James
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Fans: Burna Boy and Dover Street Market.
It’s no small endorsement for the crew behind London Fashion Week to characterize a label as “at the forefront of a new generation of fashion talent emerging from the content of Africa.” The British-Nigerian designer most recently showcased his expert tailoring at Milan Fashion Week, where he combined sneakers and soccer cleats from his partnership with Nike with fabrics found in deadstock markets in Nigeria.
Winnie New York
Designer: Idris Balogun
Location: United States
Fans: Christopher Bailey and Tom Ford.
Thanks to boldly lying about his age, Balogun learned from the best of the best at London’s Savile Row when he was just 14. It’s no surprise that the Nigerian-born, British-raised designer—who went on to have stints working at Tom Ford and Burberry—places high value in quality; his designs, which are often inspired by the Black disaspora, are constructed to stand the test of time.
Designer: Ashlynn Park
Location: New York, United States
Fans: Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Madonna.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Park got started at Yohji Yamamoto and went on to work alongside none other than Raf Simons during his tenure at Calvin Klein. While working for Alexander Wang, she made custom pieces for some of the biggest names in pop. “People say that the American dream has disappeared, but I experienced it,” she told i-D last year.