Mary Katrantzou's star keeps rising. After being shortlisted for the 2015 BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund last year, the 31-year-old designer was named the winner at an event at London's Hotel Café Royal on Tuesday evening.
The award, now in its sixth year, is designed to give winners the commercial support needed to further globalize their brands. Katrantzou will receive a £200,000 grant and mentorship from an as-yet-unnamed source, for which she beat out finalists Emilia Wickstead, Sophia Webster, Mother of Pearl's Amy Powney, Holly Fulton, Michael Van Der Ham and Osman's Osman Yousefzada. The award comes on the heels of a collaboration with Adidas and a strong fall 2015 collection, applauded for its creative fusion of paisley and tapestry-inspired prints with plastic embellishments molded after foam packaging and PVC ruffles. Past winners include Peter Pilotto, Nicholas Kirkwood and Jonathan Saunders.
Katrantzou, an Athens native, launched her eponymous label shortly after graduating from Central Saint Martins's Fashion MA program in 2008. Her father worked in textile design, and Katrantzou says she was interested in applied design from an early age, earning a BA degree in textile design at Saint Martins before turning her attention to womenswear. Initially, her collections were celebrated for their use of digital prints; but her work was easily copied. She's since turned her focus to elaborate textiles and embellishments, both of which have sent her prices upwards — several of the coats from her fall 2015 collection cost north of $40,000.
This isn't the first time Katrantzou has been recognized by the British Fashion Council. In 2012, she was awarded a Fashion Forward Scholarship from the UK fashion industry's governing body.
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