At the LVMH headquarters in Paris on Wednesday, Thomas Tait became the first winner of the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize. He'll receive a €300,000 grant that comes complete with a year of mentoring.
The Canadian-born, London-based Central St. Martin's grad beat out Suno, Chris Gelinas, Simone Rocha, Jacquemus and more for the award, which was bestowed upon him by Delphine Arnault and a jury including Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs and Phoebe Philo.
In fact, the competition was so talented, LVMH decided to award two runners up with "special prizes" including €100,000 and a year of mentoring. They are Mumbai-based Miuniku and New York-based Hood by Air, which is also up for a CFDA award this year.
When we met Tait just a couple of weeks ago in Singapore, it sounded like he could use the money, as well as the mentoring -- he has only one full-time employee, has to have all his goods produced in London because his orders aren't big enough to outsource, and said 90 percent of his problems growing his business were financial.
He also pointed out that the LVMH Prize is a bit of a two-way street, with LVMH clearly keeping an eye on the next generation for eventual vacancies in its stable of old fashion houses.
Other than that, he said that his plans for the future included growing his wholesale business, adding accessories, opening a flagship and maybe even doing skincare.
The win is a big stamp of approval by many of the most important people in the industry, globally. Tait is undoubtedly one to watch if you haven't been watching him already.