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Botter, designed by Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter, beat seven finalists to score the grand prize of the 2022 ANDAM Fashion Award.
The winner, who receives 300,000 euros and a year of coaching from Chanel’s Bruno Pavlovsky, was revealed at an open-air ceremony in the gardens of the Palais-Royal in Paris on Thursday night.
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Herrebrugh and Botter, who were also artistic directors of Nina Ricci until earlier this year, tap into their roots — Curaçao on his side, and the Dominican Republic on hers — for their gender-fluid clothing rooted in Caribbean culture.
Moments after their win, its reality still hadn’t sunk in for the duo and their first thought was for their fellow contestants.
“Everybody’s so good and so talented,” said Herrebrugh, with Botter adding that he wanted to congratulate the group since “everybody has their own worlds and we know what they go through as well and what it means to every one of us.”
A question on whether they knew what they would be spending their win on was met with an emphatic “yes” with the pair naming bio-textiles, and growing the team as priorities since they “still do everything that [they] have done until now with just a team of three,” in addition to freelancers, she said.
“We need people who are open-minded and who are constantly looking for new developments to really push all the classical ideas that you know about fashion away and just move ahead. [To] imagine a different future that is better for the world,” she continued, as Botter added a more concrete spin by naming financials and merchandising as expertise they wanted to add.
London-based womenswear brand Robert Wun, the subject of a recent exhibition at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s museum in Atlanta, received the Special Prize, which comes with a cash award of 100,000 euros plus coaching both on the creative and strategic dimensions of his fledgling businesses. The runner-up award is new to the 2022 edition, reflecting the generosity of new and established sponsors and recognizing the strength of the high-caliber talents the awards have been attracting recently.
“I’m shocked,” said Wun, explaining that his mentality was to always be content, in case things didn’t pan out.
First order of business is moving into a new studio, since his current one is getting tight at the shoulders, before working on his new collection and, perhaps, show in Paris. “I have to manifest that,” he continued, polishing his trophy like the proverbial lamp in fairy tales and naming this as one of the areas he’s considering spending the prize’s purse money.
Most important to him and to the other winners was the mentorship, “to actually grow in the right way, [knowing] who to hire, what to do next, where to manufacture, where to sell — how to grow properly into a house,” he continued.
The other finalists were: Berlin-based womenswear label Ottolinger, established by Swiss-born designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient; Copenhagen’s Heliot Emil, which was founded by brothers Victor and Julius Juul in 2016 as a menswear brand and has since expanded to womenswear; South Africa-based Lukhanyo Mdingi, who designs menswear; Thomas Monet’s gender-fluid Cool TM brand, and womenswear designer Peter Do, who previously worked at Celine under Phoebe Philo and is based in New York City.
Candidates for ANDAM’s grand prize can be of any nationality, but must own a French company or set one up during the same year as the receipt of the fellowship.
Bluemarble Paris, a Paris-based menswear label founded by designer Anthony Alvarez, won the Pierre Bergé Prize, which focuses on young French companies and is worth 100,000 euros.
A tremendous cheer went up when Alvarez scooped up the Bergé Prize, a particularly emotional moment for the designer since so many of his friends and family had turned up to support him.
He too was looking forward to harnessing means and mentorship to “continue professionalizing [his] business.” But before that, it was time to let loose and party.
“The pressure is off for tonight, but tomorrow, we’ll be back on,” he said as friends and family gathered around him to cheer his win.
The other two contenders from that prize were: Benjamin Benmoyal, who makes clothes from deadstock fabrics and recycled materials like VHS cassette tapes, and Boyarovskaya, created by designer Maria Boyarovskaya and fashion photographer Artem Kononenko.
Paris-based jewelry designer Dolly Cohen, who has created grills for celebrities including Rihanna, won the Accessories Prize, valued at 50,000 euros.
The other two accessories nominees were: 13 09 SR, the brand cofounded by former Carven designer Serge Ruffieux that launched last year with flat shoes and bejeweled eyewear, and London-based Romanian designer Ancuta Sarca, whose creations meld sportswear and high fashion.
Created in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour with the support of the French Ministry of Culture and the DEFI, a body that promotes the development of the French fashion industry, and with the late Pierre Bergé as president, ANDAM has been a springboard for designers who would go on to achieve international recognition.
Past winners include Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire, Jeremy Scott and Marine Serre. British menswear designer Bianca Saunders scooped the 2021 prize.
ANDAM — the French acronym for National Association of the Development of the Fashion Arts — is supported by large corporate sponsors, which now include Balenciaga, Chanel, Chloé, Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Galeries Lafayette, Google, Hermès, Instagram, Kering, Lacoste, Longchamp, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal Paris, MyTheresa, OTB, Premiere Classe, Saint Laurent, Swarovski and Tomorrow.
The French Ministry of Culture and the DEFI, a body that promotes the development of the French fashion industry, are also key historic public partners of ANDAM.
Executives from most sponsors comprise permanent members of the jury.
Many of this year’s guest jury members were drawn from Chanel’s orbit, including model and music producer Caroline de Maigret; twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz of musical duo Ibeyi; choreographer Blanca Li; rapper Abd al Malik; model, DJ and singer Soo Joo Park, and Miren Arzalluz, director of the Palais Galliera fashion museum.
Pavlovsky lauded the quality of the 13 profiles the jury examined, noting it has been difficult to make a choice. Having members from outside the fashion industry such as French writer Anne Berest, Paris-based Cuban Venezuelan musical duo Ibeyi or rapper and director Abd Al Malik also led to “very good conversations, very deep — it’s a different way of looking at fashion,” he said.
He will be coaching the Botter duo and Wun, hewing closely to the fields needed by two brands that are “very different,” with the latter being “still a small business with a lot of know-how, a lot of creativity, and a kind of haute couture vision,” while the former is “more about the energy [and] more established.”
An international jury and candidates that included only one French label “reflect[ed] the opening. Paris is an international-first platform, quite open on the world,” he said.
“It was interesting to see that creation has to take place in Paris but from people from everywhere,” he concluded.
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