ABOVE: OLYMPIA LE-TAN, ONE OF ANDAM’S 2013 NOMINEES, IN HER STUDIO
The annual grants from ANDAM, France’s association for the development of fashion, are among the most coveted prizes for emerging brands. Last year’s winners, Julien David and Pièce d’Anarchive, are a case in point; and past recipients include Anthony Vaccarello and Yiqing Yin, Gareth Pugh and Giles Deacon. In its 24th year, the ten designers on ANDAM’s 2013 list of finalists read like a who’s who of fashion’s newest and brightest.
Olympia-Le Tan, who has recently added a saucy, feminine collection to her celebrated embroidered book bags, is one of seven on the short list for ANDAM’s big Fashion Award which comes with a grant of 250,000 Euros ($324,674). Reached in India, where she is traveling, Le-Tan says the possibility of bagging the prize is an extra incentive. “I’m super honored and excited, and I’m crossing my fingers like crazy. I feel like a real designer now,” she says. “This makes me want to work extra hard on the next collection, which will hopefully be my best one.”
Le-Tan will be facing stiff competition, including Yang Li; Pedro Lourenço, Masha Ma, Alexandre Mattiussi of menswear brand AMI; Holland’s Iris Van Herpen; and Maison Rabih Kayrouz. On the list for ANDAM’s First Collections Award of 75,000 Euros (€97,402) are Aganovich, by Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor; Calla, by Calla Haynes; and Christine Phung. The winners will be selected by a prestigious jury of participating companies and fashion pros including Sarah Andelman of Colette, Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon, Pierre Bergé of the Yves saint Laurent Foundation, Nadja Swarovski, Federico Marchetti of YOOX Group, and Renzo Rosso of OTB. The announcement will be made on the final day of the Fall/Winter 2013/14 Haute Couture shows, July 4, in Paris.