Standing out in streetwear: Japanese brand Doublet wins LVMH Prize

Tokyo designer Masayuki Iso took top honours for his innovative textiles and gender-fluid silhouettes

18-03-01_Prix LVMH_©François GOIZE

To describe your approach as “kind of playful” when presenting a clothing collection to a jury that includes the creative forces behind Fendi, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, can be a bit of a risk. Fortunately, in Masayuki Iso’s case it paid off.

The designer of Japanese streetwear brand Doublet was named as the winner at the prestigious LVMH Prize ceremony, held in Paris on June 6. The 38-year-old from Tokyo, who is known for his fluid, gender-neutral clothes, took home the grand prize from among 1,300 candidates, nine of whom were shortlisted.

Iso's collection included a T-shirt in a cup, which "grows" as you add water; and clear-sleeved baseball jackets and sunset-and-surfer-printed shorts created from PVC. The experimental designs and textile development sat especially well with the panellists, notably Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller, who was a first-time judge. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton's Nicolas Ghesquière, who's been on the jury for five years, was impressed by the fact that Doublet has "sportswear, but it doesn't look like sportswear. Showing individuality very quickly is the whole point of the prize," said the womenswear designer who recently renewed his contract with LV. Doublet retails on

The prize itself entails €300,000 (Dh1.3 million) and a year’s worth of mentoring from the judging committee, which also included Karl Lagerfeld, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Marc Jacobs, Jonathan Anderson, and Kenzo’s Carol Lim and Humbert Leon.

South Korean designer Rok Hwang took home the creative prize for his London-based label Rokh, known for its handbags and pattern-rich apparel.

The LVMH Prize came about in 2013 and is the brainchild of Louis Vuitton’s director and executive vice president Delphine Arnault. The competition runs over five months and has three rounds.

The other brands and creatives that made it to the finals were: A-Cold Wall by Samuel Ross; Botter by Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh; Loverboy by Charles Jeffrey; Eckhaus Latta by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latte; Kwaidan Editions by Léa Dickely and Hung La; Ludovic de Saint Sernin; and Matthew Adams Dola.

18-03-01_Prix LVMH_©François GOIZE

Last year’s winner was French designer Marine Serre, who made her runway debut at Paris Fashion Week this year.


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