British designer Ifeanyi Okwuadi wins first prize at Hyères Fashion Festival


British men’s clothing designer Ifeanyi Okwuadi won the Première Vision (Fashion) Jury Grand Prix at the 36th edition of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival.

Okwuadi, a graduate of the University of Ravensbourne, won over the Hyères jury led by Lacoste’s artistic director, Louise Trotter, for his collection entitled “Take the Toys From the Boys”, inspired by the demonstrations of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp against nuclear weapons.

Image: courtesy of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival / CatwalkPictures; Ifeanyi Okwuadi

The north London-based designer, who trained at Savile Row and is currently studying for his

MA Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins wins 20,000 euros and “visibility” at a Première Vision Paris event. He will also have the opportunity to undertake a collaborative project with Chanel Métiers d’art worth up to 20,000 euros.

Image: courtesy of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival / CatwalkPictures; Ifeanyi Okwuadi

The Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival names the 2021 winners

This year’s Hyères Fashion Awards brought together ten fashion designers from the UK, Taiwan, Finland, Latvia, Thailand, Switzerland and Colombia, who presented their collections during the festival.

They were shortlisted from 250 entries from over 60 nationalities by a jury, including Ruba Abu-Nimah, Executive Creative Director of Tiffany and Co., upcycled sneaker designer Helen Kirkum, Suzanne Koller, fashion director M le Monde, artist William Farr, singer Steve Lacy and Tom Van der Borght, who won the 2020 Grand Prix in Hyères.

Image: courtesy of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival / CatwalkPictures; Elina Selina

The Chloe Prize, which challenges the finalists to design a silhouette true to the Chloe style, named Latvian knit designer Elina Silina as the winner for her white crochet dress. Silinia studied at the Latvian Academy of Arts and specializes in sustainable and recycled fashion. As the winner, she wins 20,000 euros.

The Le19M Métiers d’Arts Prize in partnership with Chanel was awarded to men’s clothing designer Rukpong Raimaturapong from Thailand who worked with the Maison Michel de Chanel milliner on interchangeable hats with wide brims and bright colors. Raimaturapong will receive 20,000 euros to “carry out a new creative project” which will be unveiled next year at the 37th edition of the festival.

Image: courtesy of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival / CatwalkPictures; Rukpong Raimaturapong

First Mercedes-Benz Sustainable Development Prize presented at the Hyères Festival awarded to Sofia Ilmonen

This year also featured a new award, the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize, which recognized the finalist who applied the learnings received during the sustainability mentoring sessions designed by Fashion Open Studio that took place digitally at the approaching the festival. These sessions, led by Fashion Revolution Co-Founder and Creative Director Orsola de Castro and Fashion Revolution Special Projects Curator Tamsin Blanchard, focused on technical innovation, from building a sustainable supply chain to new approaches to fabric creation, recycling and retail.

The winning designer, the Finnish Sofia Ilmonen, graduated with a master’s degree in fashion from Aalto University, has been selected by the fashion jury for having incorporated sustainable methods into her “Same Same But Different” collection of colorful dresses created using square modules of the same size. As the winner, Ilmonen receives 20,000 euros from Mercedes-Benz.

Image: courtesy of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival / CatwalkPictures; Sofia ilmonen

Regarding the Ilmonen collection, the fashion jury of the 36th Hyères Festival said in a press release: “Sofia Ilmonen unanimously won the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability award. Her work uses sustainably sourced fabrics, often using vegetable dyes to create rich, intense colors.

“Its concept using square formations minimizes fabric waste and its design approach reduces the need for sizing and allows garments to transform. His work is at the highest level, with each piece meticulously finished.

In addition, the Swiss designer of women’s clothing Adeline Rappaz won the public vote for her collection “The time of dreams”.

Image: courtesy of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival / CatwalkPictures; Adeline Rappaz

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