In the hopes of attracting attention to the wealth of textiles coming out of Switzerland, the Swiss Textiles Award, now in its fourth year as a designer competition, is starting to become a high profile fashion event. With a whopping grand prize of 100,000 euros that come in the form of assistance in developing an international fashion career and 10,000 euros in fabric vouchers, the fashion industry is taking notice of this award that can single-handedly ensure the future of some of our most creative, albeit undercapitalized, design talents. Presented as a part of the Gwand Fashion Event in Lucerne at the end of this past November, the jury consisted of an international selection of fashion experts including Adrienne Ribes, Vogue Paris‘ fashion editor; V magazine stylist Beat Bollinger; Joseph Quartana, buyer for Seven in New York; and Avril Mair from I-D magazine. The panel gathered in Switzerland to judge the works of finalists Hamish Morrow, Bernhard Willhelm, Yvan Mispelaere, Boudicca, Henric Vibskov, Markus Huemer and Raf Simons. Simons took home the prize and was visibly touched and overjoyed to be honored and certainly pleased by the injection of a tidy sum of capital. What convinced the panel of experts is Simons’ multidisciplinary approach to fashion. “He produces an overall package in his fashion shows, with music, art, performance, projections and the spoken word, says Swiss Textiles.” In clothing this is translated into traditional men’s tailoring fused with street wear with a political edge, touching on issues such as age discrimination and the existential angst of teenagers. This is a prize to keep an eye on.
- Emma Holmqvist
Photo: Raf Simons’ award winning collection