H&M has created a brand new international design award with the ambition of supporting talented designers after their graduation. The H&M Design Award aims to push fashion students in the right direction, so that they can continue to grow and develop in their work as fashion designers.
The contestants come from fourteen of the most prestigious design schools in Sweden, UK, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Denmark. On February 1, the winner of the H&M Design Award 2012 will be presented on Stockholm Fashion Week, followed by a fashion show with the winner's graduate collection. The winner will also get the chance to have chosen pieces from their collection sold in selected H&M stores later in the year.
From January 13, everyone with an interest in fashion can follow the awards process online through a series of films at designaward2012.hm.com. It will feature behind the scenes footage of the colleges and portraits of the designers, as well as the jury sessions and live streaming of the winner's show on February 1.
"I'm very excited about the H&M Design Award. It's our first ever prize for new young designers, and it's been such an inspiring experience to meet these talented graduates, to hear the vision behind their collections and to see the final result," commented Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M Head of Design. "With the award I hope we encourage young designers around the world to believe in themselves and their creativity. I can't wait to share the experience with everyone on-line."
For H&M's first ever Design Award, BA graduates from fourteen fashion colleges are competing to become the local winner from their country, who then stand a chance of becoming the overall winner of the global Design Award prize. The participating colleges are Beckman's College of Design, Stockholm and Borås Textilhögskolan, Borås in Sweden; DKDS, Copenhagen and Design Skolen Kolding, Kolding in Denmark; Universitat der Kunste UdK, Berlin, University of Pforzheim, Pforzheim and Weissensee, Berlin in Germany; Brighton School of Architecture & Design, Brighton, Central Saint Martins, London and London College of Fashion, London in Great Britain; ArtEZ Institute of Arts, Arnhem and AMFI, Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp and La Cambre, Brussels in Belgium.
Along the way, videos and images of the graduates work will be posted online, meaning everyone gets to follow the progress of the award and to see 2012's best new talent from around Europe. H&M's Head of Design, Ann-Sofie Johansson, will blog about the process, and there will also be interviews with judges and glimpses into life at some of the world's most prestigious fashion colleges. Visitors to the site can also vote for their favourite collection, the winner of which will receive a special People's Prize. The overall winner of the H&M Design Award 2012 will show their collection at Stockholm's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, fast becoming one of the most important dates on the international fashion calendar. The H&M Design Award will be an annual prize, confirming H&M's commitment to the future of fashion, and to helping fashion move forward.