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LVMH Awards: Satoshi Kuwata scoops top prize for young designers

Setchu's Satoshi Kuwata poses with a model
Setchu's Satoshi Kuwata poses with a model Copyright CAMERA DELLA MODA
Copyright CAMERA DELLA MODA
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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The Japanese-born designer has won the top prize from a strong shortlist of nine fashion talents under the age of 40.

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Setchu by Satoshi Kuwata has won the 2023 LVMH Prize for Young Designers, as the award marks its tenth anniversary.

Held at a star-studded ceremony in Paris, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot announced the winner in the presence of deciding jury members, including Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière, representatives from Dior and Loewe artistic director Jonathan Anderson.

Kuwata, who is based in Milan, beat some 2,400 potential winners who had applied from 15 countries. The designer wins a prize of €400,000 as well as a year’s coaching from experts hailing from luxury conglomerate LVMH, whose brands include Guerlain, Dom Pérignon and Sephora.

The runner-up award - known as the Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize - was also attributed. 

This year's joint winners are ‘Bettter’ by Ukrainian designer Julie Pelipas and Italian designer Luca Magliano’s eponymous label. Handed their awards by Chinese pop star Xin Liu, the pair received a grant of €200,000 and a year-long mentorship programme via the LVMH Group.

The Karl Lagerfeld award was renamed as such in 2019 following the legendary Chanel designer’s death, as a way of continuing his legacy. Last month, the iconic Met Gala in New York honoured the German-born fashion star with its theme - ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’.

The LVMH Prize is open to all designers under the age of 40 who have created, shown and sold at least two collections in the women’s, men’s or unisex ready-to-wear categories.

Satoshi Kuwata: Blending and compromise

A graduate of Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, Satoshi Kuwata has over 15 years of experience in the fashion industry. 

Having worked for heavyweights including Gareth Pugh and Givenchy, Kuwata founded his own brand Setchu, which is a genderless label. Its name comes from a Japanese word “Wayo Setchu” which means compromise and represents the blending of Japanese and Western concepts - as well as the compromise between the two cultures.

Kuwata was on a shortlist for the award with nine other talented designers from across the globe, including Julie Pelipas and Luca Magliano.

In its 10 year history, the LVMH award has supported designers including S.S. Daley, Nensi Dojaka and Marine Serre, as well as bolstering the careers of its runner-up Karl Lagerfeld prize winners - among them, Rokh, Jacquemus and Hood by Air.

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