And then there were eight.
Ambush, Atlein, Cecile Bahnsen, Jahnkoy, Kozaburo, Marine Serre, Molly Goddard and Nabil Nayal have been named the eight finalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. The group was narrowed down from the initial 21 designers shortlisted for the coveted prize—which includes €300,000 and a year of mentorship from executives at the luxury conglomerate—by a group of "international fashion experts" after seeing the collections first-hand during a special presentation during Paris Fashion Week. Among the experts: Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Patrick Demarchelier, Miroslava Duma, and Linda Fargo.
This year's class of nominees includes five traditional womenswear designers, with two focused on menswear (Jahnkoy and Kozaburo) and one unisex label (Ambush). This year also marks the first time a Danish designer (Cecile Bahnsen) has made it to the final eight of the international competition. Also a notable inclusion: London-based Nabil el-Nayal, who was shortlisted two years ago, in 2015.
The final eight will next meet with the members of the LVMH Prize Jury, which includes Marc Jacobs, J.W. Anderson, Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Nicolas Ghesquière, and Karl Lagerfeld, on June 16th at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. The winner will be announced the same day.
In the meantime, a refresher on each of the final eight:
Originally founded as a jewelry line, designer Yoon Ahn transformed her collection, based in Tokyo, into a full-fledged line of unisex clothing that has already caught the eye of Louis Vuitton, Maison Kitsuné, Sacai, and Undercover, all of whom have done collaborations with the brand.
Stocked by Net-A-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus, among other top retailers, Paris-based designer Antonin Tron's line of streamlined wardrobe staples has quickly become a go-to for French It-girls—and those who want to dress like them.
Upon graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, the Danish designer developed her eponymous contemporary collection which finds inspiration from traditional techniques including quilting, patchwork, and appliqué embroidery.
Based in New York, Russian designer Maria Kazakova describes her menswear line as a "return to craft," which includes intricate and delicate embroidery, beading, weaving and crochet on each piece.
With experience working for Thom Browne under his belt, Japanese menswear designer Kozaburo Akasaka has a knack for mixing classic pieces with something modern, citing inspiration from the '90s music he grew up listening to.
A graduate of Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Maison Martin Margiela, and Balenciaga, the French womenswear designer has crafted an aesthetic all her own that incorporates unexpected silhouettes with bright, primary colors.
A darling of London Fashion Week, Goddard embraces the feminine side of fashion, stemming from her signature frills and ruffles.
Also a 2015 LVMH Prize semi-finalist, the London-based designer's dramatic, often theatrical pieces have been worn by Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Florence Welch.
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