This year’s contest, which takes place from April 27–May 1, will debut its very first accessories award, the Swarovski Fashion Accessories Prize. For any new talent invited to Hyères it’s an opportunity like no other. Just look at some of the previous Fashion category winners—Viktor&Rolf, Anthony Vaccarello, Christian Wijnants, and Yiqing Yin, among other industry luminaries have all kick-started their careers at Hyères. Participants present their work to jurors of the caliber of Jean Paul Gaultier, Helmut Lang, Raf Simons, Martin Margiela, and Karl Lagerfeld. It doesn’t get much starrier than that.
Swarovski, too, has a longstanding commitment to nurturing young creative talent, and has partnered with the festival since 2009. The aim of the inaugural Swarovski Fashion Accessories Prize is to follow the success of the existing fashion and photography awards, and launch the next generation of accessories design stars onto the world stage. The Swarovski Fashion Accessories Prize finalists were chosen during lengthy deliberations back in January by a jury panel led by stellar footwear designer Pierre Hardy. Jurors included Laure Hériard-Dubreuil (founder and director of The Webster, Miami); Laurence Reulet (Director of Jewelry, Hermès, Paris); Alexandra Golovanoff (journalist and fashion designer, Paris); Philippe Jarrigeon (photographer, Paris); Géraldine Sarratia (Editor-in-Chief, Les Inrockuptibles, Paris); Isabelle Kontoure (Fashion Editor, Wallpaper, London); Samira Nasr (Fashion Editor, ELLE US, New York); and Michael Amzalag (graphic designer, M/M ).
Supported by Première Vision and Swarovski to help them give their sparkling best, the ten Accessories Prize finalists will travel from five countries to the beautiful Villa Noailles, the oldest resort on the French Riviera,. There, they’ll each have the chance to present to the jury a micro-collection consisting of at least seven pieces or a single statement piece from one of five categories: bags, shoes, jewelry, millinery or eyewear. They’ll also be invited to take part in a group exhibition to be viewed by both industry professionals and the public. Each of their shows will open with a film about the designer’s work made by the video production company Psycho – PH. And when the agony of waiting is over, Swarovski will present the winner with a grant of €15,000. We wish them the very best of luck!
The ten finalists: Wendy Andreu (bags, France), Marina Chedel (shoes, Switzerland), Alexandre Girard (bags, France), Christophe Lhote (jewelry, France), Emma Montague (bags, Denmark/Australia), Noémie Nivelet (jewelry, France), Mayeul Reignault (jewelry, France), Thibault Rodde and Sandrine Pachecus (eyewear, France), Feva Ronka (jewelry, Finland) and Sofya Samareva (millinery, Kazakhstan).
Photography: Charles Nègre