Canadian Designer Beats Brits To Take Inaugural Award

Thomas Tait received the approval of Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and Riccardo Tisci this week as the designer took home the very first LVMH prize for young talent

The Canadian beat 11 other finalists and over 1,200 applicants, including London menswear names Craig Green and Christopher Shannon, to snatch the award.

The win in Paris sees Tait secure a €300,000 (£245,000) cash injection, alongside a year of mentoring from executives at the luxury group, which owns the likes of Kenzo, Nicholas Kirkwood and Louis Vuitton.

Talent, creativity and potential for development were cited as reasons for the designer’s win by Delphine Arnault as the Louis Vuitton general manager congratulated the 26-year-old.

Nicolas Ghesquière, Raf Simons and Kenzo duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have also sat on the judging panel since the competition was first announced back in November 2013.

Ahead of the announcement, the Central Saint Martins MA graduate revealed his plans for the future, which include a store in London, where he is currently available in ten niche stores.

It is not the first award for the designer, Tait also picked up the inaugural Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize in 2010.

Two surprise honours were also handed out at the recent event, including €100,000 (£81,000) to Miuniku from India and Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver. Both will receive additional mentoring support.

Three fashion students from London, Paris, and New York also received €10,000 (£8,000), a sum matched by LVMH and given to the winner’s schools. All three have been offered a year’s placement in an LVMH brand design studio of their choice as a result.

No official announcement has been made by the French group’s officials regarding when entries for the next prize will open.