Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, the Portuguese designers behind London-based Marques'Almeida (here's how to pronounce that), have taken home the second-ever LVMH Prize, which each year awards a young fashion designer with €300,000 ($330,505) and a year of mentoring from LVMH execs. They were given the award Friday afternoon at the new Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris by actress and Dior spokesperson Natalie Portman.
The four-year-old brand beat out finalists Arthur Arbesser, Craig Green, Faustine Steinmetz, Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Simon Porte Jacquemus of Jacquemus, the last of whom took home the runner-up award of €150,000 and one year of coaching. Coperni's Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, also finalists, withdrew from the competition because of their appointment as creative directors of womenswear for Courrèges, according to WWD.
While the prize will certainly help take Marques'Almeida to the next level, the womenswear brand has already passed some pretty major milestones. Graduates of the prestigious MA program at Central Saint Martins, the designers' first collection was picked up by both Opening Ceremony and Joyce. They were chosen to show their first two collections under Fashion East, won a Newgen sponsorship in 2014 and the British Fashion Award for Emerging Womenswear Designer the same year. They also designed a collection for Topshop.
The brand has become known for its exciting and innovative use of denim and thus its prices are relatively low — mostly under $600 — though it began experimenting with more high-end fabrics in its fall 2015 collection.
The inaugural LVMH Prize went to another London-based designer, Thomas Tait.
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