Three years ago, H&M launched its Design Awards program, a way to support emerging designers and give fresh faces a high-profile platform. Conceived as a sort of “Project Runway” without the glitz and glam of a TV crew, the competition pits young designers against one another in a search for the most talented newcomers. Today, eight finalists were chosen from more than 30 schools in 12 countries, and only one student from Parsons—Jia Hua—made it through from the U.S.
The finalists are: Eddy Anemian, a student at La Cambre in Brussels; Chinese-born Jia Hua from Parsons in New York City; Canadian Devon Halfnight Leflufy, who is a graduate of the Royal Academy in Antwerp; Xiao Li, who is a Chinese graduate of London’s Royal College of Art; Lina Michal, a Swedish graduate of Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm; Sophie Sälekari, a Finnish student at the Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture in Helsinki; Henriette Tilanuas, a Dutch graduate of the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem; and Camilla Blasé Woodman, a student at the Royal College of Art in London.
The winner—which will be announced on January 28—will receive a cash prize of $50,000 euros (around $68,000), and the opportunity to show their collection at Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week.
The lucky finalists will have their collections appraised by a judging panel that includes designer Erdem Moralioglu, actress Michelle Dockery, style star Michelle Harper, British Vogue executive fashion editor Serena Hood, Vogue Italy senior fashion editor Sara Maino, Johansson and H&M’s creative advisor Margareta van den Bosc.
(All images courtesy H&M)