Sisters and LCF alumnae Tina and Nikita Sutradhar have been shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH prize with their Mumbai-based label MIUNIKU, alongside 11 other young fashion brands.
The young design duo were selected from a longlist of 30 designers by a panel of 42 industry experts at a showcase held at the LVMH headquarters in Paris on the 26th and 27th February 2014. The prize jury includes fashion design heavyweights Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel, Fendi), Phoebe Philo (Celine), Nicolas Ghesquiere (Louis Vuitton) and Raf Simons (Dior).
Tina and Nikita both studied the foundation course FdA Fashion Design Technology (Designer Pattern Cutter) before completing a top-up year to graduate from LCF with BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear. Graduating just last year, they were the first LCF students to graduate with a joint final collection, scooping the Fashion Innovation Award at the BA13 catwalk show.
The LVMH prize launched in November 2013 to promote and support young fashion design talent. It is open to designers from any country who are under 40 and have produced at least two collections. The winner will receive a €300,000 grant and “personalised technical and financial support from the [LVMH] Group for a 12-month period following the LVMH Prize award. This support covers all the areas of expertise that are critical to a young fashion brand (intellectual property, sourcing, production and distribution, image and advertising, marketing, etc).”
The sisters are in excellent company on the shortlist, sitting alongside designers including Simone Rocha, Suno, Hood by Air and Thomas Tait, who they interned with during their studies. Tina and Nikita appear to be the most recent graduates on the shortlist.
The latest MIUNIKU collection, for AW14, is inspired by ‘mundane things’. The designer duo recently explained the concept to thisispaper.com:
“We first started out by seeing how people hang clothes to dry on a clothes line (the juxtaposing of a garment and the way it’s hung). Also the process of folding a shirt and how it looks. … The research touches upon household chores such as doing the laundry, washing the dishes, folding and organising clothes and mundane, repetitive factory jobs. The colours come from cleaning products such as washing powder/sponges and other plastic household items. The fabrics used range from jerseys, wools, silks and organdy. The silhouettes are a bit oversized yet straight. The overall design aesthetic is a play between clean lines and graphic details.”
The bright, clean collection of oversized silhouettes and graphic prints is anything but mundane, and has led to considerable press coverage and awards recognition. As well as the Fashion Innovation Award at the BA13 show, Tina and Nikita also won the ISKO™ Denim Diffusion Award (an industry project completed as part of their course) and they were semi-finalists in the H&M Design Awards 2014.
The winner of the LVMH Young Fashion Designer prize will be announced on the 28th May. Good luck Tina and Nikita!