And that’s it! We’ve come to the end of the first ever H&M Design Award. Stine Riis was a worthy recipient, and her winning show at Stockholm’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was so confident and strong. It’s great to be able to watch it again and see all the detail she puts into her clothes, and the way she puts colours together. It’s going to be so exciting to see what Stine does next in her career.
I was so happy to hear that Anne Bosman won the People’s Prize! Anne’s menswear designs are brave and radical, and it’s great to see so many people responding to his work. I love that in its first year, the H&M Design Award can bring together so many different types of fashion, and to celebrate them at the same time.
What has been so inspiring is the hard work and dedication that all the graduates had to their work. We saw so much passion for design, and for moving fashion forward. It was great too that so many of the graduates understood what it meant to be a designer in the real world. They wanted to design clothes that could be both inspirational, but also desirable to wear in everyday life. It really showed that fashion is at its best when it can become part of everyday personal style.
This is my final blog about the 2012 H&M Design Awards! I’ve had so much fun, travelling to all the countries and seeing so many graduate collections. It’s been amazing for H&M to be able to give young graduates a helping hand just as they leave college. I can’t wait to discover what new talent we discover next year! See you then!
We have our winner! The first ever H&M Design Award has gone to Stine Riis, whose amazing sense of colour and construction has impressed us since the first time we saw her back at the London judging. Stine is from Copenhagen in Denmark, but studied at the London College of Fashion in the United Kingdom – I love how the way she has travelled reflects the international aspect of the H&M Design Award. Fashion no longer has any borders!
Throughout the judging process, Stine has showed us that she is capable of not just making great clothes, but also of thinking about the whole package, and what it takes to be a designer with their own label. This was even more clear to us at the grand jury. When we saw Stine’s work on the catwalk, it had the maturity and completeness of a collection ready to be seen at fashion week. This makes Stine the perfect winner to show her collection today at Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week!
When we told Stine she had won the 2012 H&M Design Award, she was overwhelmed by the news, both surprised and also very happy. She wants to use the €50,000 prize money to help set up her own label – it’s amazing for the first H&M Design Award to have such a positive result. And now everyone can see Stine’s amazing collection streaming live on this website, direct from Stockholm Fashion Week!
It’s time for the grand jury to decide the winner of the first ever H&M Design Award! It’s a very special occasion for us, with an expert panel, so we wanted the mood to be right. The grand jury met in an old church in London, where the finalists were able to show their collections on the catwalk on models. The jury sat on sofas facing the catwalk, and then we talked with each of the finalists in turn. There was no audience, just some serious judging!
What was lovely about the judging was that the finalists all got on so well. They really found each other as a group, and went out the night before to get to know each other. On the day, they all helped each other out, which was so lovely to see, and afterwards they said they would all keep in touch. It was great to see these graduates meet new colleagues from different countries. It showed that even if a designer is an individual talent, they will always benefit from some help and support.
Another good part of the final was that we had a stylist there to give a fresh eye to their collections. It was a really important experience for our finalists, and a taste of what will come in their future careers if they set up their own label. If you look at a big brand’s catwalk pictures, there won’t just be the designer backstage, there’ll also be a stylist giving their perspective on what the collection will look like. It helps to take the collection from the designer’s mind out into the real world! I think our finalists really enjoyed seeing their collection through someone else’s eyes. It brought something new, and helped the jury to make it’s big decision!
And so now all that remains is to announce the winner of the H&M Design Award 2012. We’ve seen the work of graduates from fourteen colleges in six countries, and we have now come to our final result. But who is it who has won the H&M Design Award? See you at the show to find out! And don’t forget to cast your vote in the People’s Prize! Who is your favourite designer? Whose collection do you find the most exciting and inspiring? Voting begins on January 27th, and we’ll announce the winner of the People’s Prize on February 1st. I can’t wait to see who’s won!
It’s time to find our last finalist for the H&M Design Awards! And it’s really exciting to come to Copenhagen for the next jury.
The city has a real buzz about it at the moment, even more so because next week is Copenhagen Fashion Week! Its restaurants are the talked about globally. One, called Noma, is said to be the best in the world, with all of its ingredients foraged in the local area. And now there’s Geist, a restaurant that also uses local produce for its food.
Then there are also its TV series, which are becoming cult hits, like The Killing, where the city feels like a character in the drama itself. It’s great when a city has such a strong identity.
When the Danish jury met, it was a pretty collection full of prints by Louise Boye Andersen which took the prize. It was such a dreamy collection that was very floaty and light, and its key print were all these amazing polka dots. Polka dots are always a fun thing in fashion, and especially now that the exhibition by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is about to open in London – her dots are going to be everywhere! Louise used polka dots in such a cute way in her collection, it made us all really happy!
So that’s it! We’ve got our six finalists for the first ever H&M Design Award. It’s such an exciting mix, with so many different points of view, and all the finalists with so much talent. It’s soon time to announce the global winner, and to see their show streamed live direct from the catwalk at Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week! I can’t wait to see the show!
It’s Brussels next on the agenda for the Design Awards. It’s a great city to visit, made even better by Antwerp being a short train ride away!
Antwerp is the heart of fashion in Belgium, home of some of the most important designers of the past thirty years. It’s great to visit for shopping, as many of these designers like Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester have stores in Antwerp. But it’s also amazing to soak up the atmosphere of the city which has inspired all this great work. It is like a traditional city which has preserved its special heritage, even though it is in the modern world.
One of the most important places to visit is MoMu, the Fashion museum which is connected to fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
It always stages radical and pioneering exhibitions, like their recent Walter Van Bierendonck show, or an entire show devoted to the colour black. The bookshop on the ground floor is a must-visit, too!
Back in Brussels, the Belgian jury met to decide on their local winner. We saw students from the Royal Academy in Antwerp and La Cambre in Brussels, and its from La Cambre that we found our winner. Zoe Vermiere showed us a stunning collection where the coats were the stars. It’s great to see a collection with such a strong, specific point of view, with elongated sleeves and super-long belts, all making a powerful silhouette. She showed some fierce accessories, like some great hair accessories and also some incredible shoes that looked really edgy, even if they were hard to walk in!
I can’t believe there’s only one more jury left before we have our full line-up of finalists! We’re off to Copenhagen next to find the Danish winner, and then we’ll know all the names that could win the first ever H&M Design Award. It’s so exciting!
Amsterdam is the next stop on the Design Award tour. It’s a city that I love to visit because there are always surprises and new things to discover, like the Spui Book Market every Friday, where you can find so many amazing second hand books, often books you’ve never heard of before. The layout of Amsterdam is quite confusing if you don’t know the city, but the great thing about modern technology is that you can type “Spui book market” into your phone, and find it easily!
It’s amazing how the bikes and canals in Amsterdam create their own way of living. There are so few cars in the city centre, and the bikes rule the roads. It makes for a very polite and very happy atmosphere, great for talking about projects or swapping ideas. There are some amazing art and design colleges in the Netherlands, and the city has a real sense of a community among its students and creative people.
I was so thrilled that the jury in Amsterdam picked the work of a menswear graduate to go forward to the grand final of the Design Award. The winner is called Anne Bosman, and he showed us such an ambitious collection that mixed together the wardrobe of an emperor with the backpacks that he remembers from his childhood. The end result was a high-concept collection with some amazing sculpted pieces. He really impressed with the scale of his work, and also the detail that went into making the pieces so specific.
Anne is very passionate about menswear, and about how menswear should be as creative and free-thinking as womenswear. I think it’s great for a young designer to have so much conviction about their work. It’s also really exciting for there to be menswear as part of the Design Award mix. Who knows what we’re going to find next?
It’s time to visit Berlin, one of the most important cities in Europe for fashion designers and artists. Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall over twenty years ago, Berlin’s youth culture and art movements have proven an inspiration for so many fashion designers. It is still possible to live cheaply in the city, which makes it an amazing place to be a student! It’s also means its a great place to spend some time and get lost in the city. You can start at somewhere like the Neue Nationalgalerie, which is housed in the most incredible Mies van der Rohe building, see some art, and then head off from there. Another interesting place to visit is KW, the Institute for Contemporary Art, which only shows new artists. This spring, it stages the Berlin Biennale, which makes me want to come back to the city soon!
The German jury saw the work of students from three different colleges, and we were impressed so much with the quality and diversity of the work. In the end, the jury decided on not just one graduate, but two. Yasar Spörndli and Laura Krauthausen are students from Weissensee in Berlin who decided to work together on their collections. At H&M, we talk a lot about teamwork, so it was great to see two young designers working together to create such great work. Their collection was impressive in both scale and quality, with so many prints and different fabrics and textures used together in their garments. It was also a really complete collection, with some great accessories made out of ceramics. Their work really showed how it’s useful for students to really think about the whole picture when they are working, as if they are already a brand. It adds so much breadth and depth to their final collection.
We’ve now got three of our finalists, and I’m so excited by the talent, and the diversity, of the graduates competing for the H&M Design Award! In every city we are finding something new, both in the clothes that the graduates have designed, and also the way they design them. Next stop is Amsterdam, I can’t wait!
It’s always exciting to visit London, especially when it’s for the next stage of judging for the Design Awards. I always make sure I get some spare time, because there is so much inspiration to be found in the city, particularly the markets. On a Sunday, it’s great to start at Columbia Road flower market in East London, to see all the colours of the flowers clashing together. Then walk to Brick Lane market, which is full of people hunting for vintage clothes or just enjoying the atmosphere.
It’s no wonder there’s always so much exciting talent in British fashion colleges. For the Design Award, we judged students from three famous colleges: Brighton School of Architecture and Design; the London College of Fashion, and Central Saint Martins in London. This last college is one of the most famous fashion colleges in the world, where Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Phoebe Philo, Christopher Kane and many more have studied. Central Saint Martins have just moved from their famous building on the Charing Cross Road to a huge new space in an old warehouse in King’s Cross. It’s amazing to think of all the upcoming talent which will pass through that building.
The standard of entries for the Design Award in the UK was extremely high, but in the end it was Stine Riis who won the prize. Stine is from Copenhagen, but studied for her BA at the London College of Fashion. What impressed us was not only the vision and skill of her elegant tailored clothing. It was also how complete the collection was, how real it felt. Stine really showed she had what it takes to become a designer in the international stage. We’ve only decided two of the finalists, and already the H&M Design Award is shaping up to be so exciting!
It’s time for the first local jury to pick one of our finalists for the H&M Design Award prize. I’m very excited that the first jury took place in Stockholm. It is the home of H&M, my home city, and also where I studied at the beginning of my fashion career. It’s great to think that its the Swedish graduates who we’ve seen first, and who kick off the judging for H&M’s first ever Design Award.
To find the graduates to put forward for the award, either myself or a member of my design team at H&M have been to the graduate show of each of the colleges taking part. I love the graduate shows. It’s an amazing way to find new talent just as it’s first emerging. Graduates get to show off their raw creativity, and also their technical skills. It’s important for a designer to have both the ideas, and the cutting skills to be able to make the ideas a reality. When we are recruiting for our design team at H&M, it’s often at these shows that we find the perfect candidates.
From each of these shows, we have selected the graduates who will present their work to the local jury in each country. In Sweden, the jury was so impressed by the standard of entries. But it was one graduate who stood out for us. Her name is Isabelle Lundh, and she graduated from Beckman’s College of Design with an amazing collection that mixed modernity with the folkloric. She used traditional handcrafted techniques and made them new with lots of neon colours and even colours that glow in the dark!
We all felt Isabelle’s collection was very clever, and it also made us all feel happy. Being able to take old traditions and make them new is a great skill for a young designer to have. It’s great to be able to take and old favourite and make it feel like it’s something completely fresh. The jury was very happy to make her the Swedish winner!
Stockholm is such an exciting city, a place where you can find so many different kinds of inspiration. Some of my favourite places to go are the museums, like the Museum of Modern Art (http://www.modernamuseet.se/sv/Stockholm/), which has just shown an exhibition of Turner, Monet and Twombly, or the Photography Museum (http://fotografiska.eu/), which is currently showing the architectural photographs of Aitor Ortiz. There’s so much to see in the city, and so many places to get ideas. That’s all for now. Our next stop for judging: London!
Hello! I’m Ann-Sofie Johansson, head of design at H&M, and over the next few weeks I’m going to be blogging here about the first ever H&M DESIGN AWARD. I am so excited about the award, which will see one young fashion graduate win the chance to show their collection at Mercedes-Benz’ Stockholm Fashion Week, along with a prize of €50,000. With entries from some of the world’s most important fashion colleges, it’s going to be a great chance to see all the new talent that is going to help push fashion forward.
We have started this award because we all love fashion at H&M, and want to encourage and support the next generation of young designers as they begin their careers. We get so many requests to sponsor different colleges, students and projects that we thought that H&M should have its own Design Award. What we’re looking for is creativity, craftsmanship, and vision, everything a young designer needs to become a future fashion star.
The process is simple. BA graduates from fourteen different colleges in six countries will be judged to become their local winner. These six finalists each win €5,000, and will then go forward to a grand jury to find the overall winner. I’ll be blogging along the way about the graduates, the judging, the colleges, and also the fashion scene in each of the cities that we’ll visit – London, Stockholm, Antwerp, Berlin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. I can’t wait to share all this new talent with you. Let’s get started!