Canadian wunderkind designer Vejas Kruszewski wins special LVMH fashion prize
Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs and other big-name jurors laud talent of year's youngest contender
Though Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski didn't score the top prize, the talented 19 year-old definitely didn't leave empty-handed from the LVMH Prize ceremony in Paris Thursday.
The jury of the fledgling, but high-profile fashion honour recognized the Canadian's "exceptional talent" with a special prize that includes a grant of €150,000 (approx. $218,000 Cdn.) and a year-long mentorship with French fashion and luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.
Special Prize winner <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LVMHPrize?src=hash">#LVMHPrize</a> 2016: Vejas Kruszewski for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vejas?src=hash">#Vejas</a> ! <a href="https://t.co/zWmtwFwyzy">pic.twitter.com/zWmtwFwyzy</a>—@LVMHPrize
Jurors, including top fashion names such as Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs, praised Kruszewski's talent and noted how the "youngest of this season distinguished himself with a mature style and independent spirit."
Originally from Montreal, Kurszewski is now based in Toronto, where the wunderkind creates his eponymous Vejas line. His designs are known for avant-garde cuts, street-style flair, unconventional details and gender-neutral aesthetic.
Wales Bonner & VEJAS are the winners of the <a href="https://twitter.com/LVMHPrize">@LVMHPrize</a> for Young Fashion Designers 2016 <a href="https://t.co/XZvkrb3MSI">https://t.co/XZvkrb3MSI</a> <a href="https://t.co/2rF953dHJ6">pic.twitter.com/2rF953dHJ6</a>—@LVMH
Meanwhile, the main LVMH Prize was awarded to Grace Wales Bonner, the British designer of Wales Bonner.
She receives a grant of €300,000 (approx. $431,000 Cdn) and a year-long mentorship with the LVMH group. The experience will provide top-level technical and financial advice, as well as access to the group's production and distribution expertise and networks.
Launched in late 2013, the LVMH Prize spotlights young fashion talents around the globe. It is open to designers under the age of 40 who have released at least two women's or men's ready-to-wear collections.
This year, the third edition of the prize, saw young designers from more than 50 countries compete. Actress Léa Seydoux, known for her roles in Spectre and Blue is the Warmest Colour, was on hand to announce the winners in Paris on Thursday.