The Paris fashion scene is like the sophisticated, slightly more daring big sister to New York and just like a wide-eyed ingenue who looks to the wiser, New York looks to Paris in earnest of what's to come. A key player in identifying emerging talent and contemporary designers in the Paris fashion front, ANDAM (National Association for the Development of Fashion Arts) was founded under the initiative of the French Ministry of Culture and the DEFI. It not only serves to "assure the role of Paris as a key fashion capital" (is if this wasn't already secure), the association has a hand in practically every major facet of Paris fashion, from young labels to luxury groups to fashion week.
Each year ANDAM selects one talented emerging designer to present with its prestigious Fashion Award. The seven 2014 finalists for ANDAM's 25th edition have just been announced and if you're not familiar with them already, you should definitely be watching. The 25 members of the 2014 judges panel include a veritable who's-who of French and global fashion: sponsors include YSL, LVMH, and House of Longchamp, while "Fashion Professionals" range from Ellen von Unwerth to Xavier Romatet (of Conde Nast France), to name a few.
The major award winner, to be selected on July 3rd, will receive 250K Euros in addition to other opportunities, including a two-season mentorship with Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault. "I am thrilled to be presenting this year new selection of talents. Thanks to the ANDAM Fashion Award, one of them is bound to become a French company. This brand will become an official actor of the prestigious Paris fashion scene, participating in its international leadership," says Nathalie Dufour, ANDAM's director.
And the finalists are (drumroll please):
Iris Van Herpen
Which of the seven designers do you hope to see cross over state-side?