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LVMH Launches Fashion Fund, With Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs as Judges

LVMH is taking its support of (and investment in) emerging design talent to the next level.
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LVMH is taking its support of (and investment in) emerging design talent to the next level with the creation of the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize.

The prize, conceived by Delphine Arnault (who has been credited with courting LVMH's newest investments, Nicholas Kirkwood and JW Anderson) is comparable to the CFDA's Fashion Incubator or CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The winner receives 300,000 euros ($404,160 at current exchange), and a year of assistance from an LVMH team in developing their business, including advisement on intellectual property, sourcing, production and distribution, image and advertising, marketing, etc.

The judges? Oh you know, just Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Humberto Leon, Carol Lim, Phoebe Philo, Raf Simons and Riccardo Tisci. No biggie.

"The LVMH Prize has been created to support promising young fashion designers," Delphine Arnault said in a statement issued to press. "This philanthropic initiative resonates powerfully with the core values of our Group. Our designers will recognize the talents of tomorrow, who will receive awards and support in developing their brand. Our goal is clearly to energize the vitality and creativity of the fashion world on a global scale. As a leader in our industry, we have a responsibility to discover young talents and to help them flourish."

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The prize will give newbies and somewhat established designers alike a shot at success. In addition to one main winner, who must be under 40 and have presented and sold at least two ready-to-wear collections, the prize will recognize three recent fashion design graduates, each of whom will receive 10,000 euros ($13,465) and an invitation to join the design team at an LVMH brand for one year.

LVMH calls this a "philanthropic initiative," but we could also see it as more of an investment in the next generation of designers and design labels. As we well know, the creative directors of LVMH's brands aren't going to be in their current positions forever. Designers choosing their own successors? That could be interesting.

Hopefuls can apply now through Feb. 2, 2014 at