Last night, 25-year-old Grace Wales Bonner became the first menswear designer to ever win the LVMH Prize for emerging talent. After the decision from judges including Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and Phoebe Philo, Bonner will receive more than $300,000 and a yearlong mentorship with LVMH executives.
Bonner has made an impressive mark on the fashion industry with her eponymous label that challenges racial and gender barriers, playing with ideas of Black identity, sexuality and masculinity. Her most recent collection, which she presented just days ago at London’s Men’s Collections, combined influences from the Caribbean and Africa, inspired by the crowning of the Emperor of Ethopia.
But Bonner wasn’t the only designer who made history at the awards ceremony. At 19, Vejas Kruszewski became the youngest designer to ever be nominated, let alone win, an award. Taking home the special jury prize for his line, Vejas, Kruszewski received more than $150,000, as well as a year of mentorship. The Canadian designer celebrates diversity and trans visibility, with IMG model Hari Nef serving as a frequent face for the brand, with beautifully tailored, dystopian and often agender styles.
The LVMH Prize for Young Designers was created in 2014 for the purpose of recognizing emerging talent and providing them with the resources to grow their respective brands. Previous winners include Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida for their brand, Marques Almeida, and Thomas Tait, for his eponymous label, as well as special jury prize awards for the designers behind Miuniku and Hood by Air.