On the day that David Beckham’s briefs collection debuts in London’s flagship H&M and just a week after financial reports of H&M’s 15.3% drop in profits in Q4, H&M announced their winner in their new H&M Design Awards 2012 as Stine Riis, a 28-year-old grad student from London College of fashion.
Like H&M’s ongoing designer masstige collaborations which brings top-end designers in to create collections for the “masses” such as Versace and now coming soon Marni, the fast-fashion retailer’s new designer awards inspire many young and up-and-coming designers to compete in trying to win the coveted prize. The winner gets 50,000 Euros, but perhaps just as importantly, a fashion runway debut at the Stockholm Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, plus H&M manufacturing and distribution of the winning collection across Europe in September, 2012.
Stine was chosen by a grand jury which included fashion designer Christopher Kane, noted fashion journalists Hilary Alexander and Kristopher Arden Houser, fashion blogger Susie Lau, H&M’s creative advisor Margareta van den Bosch and H&M’s head of design, Ann-Sofie Johansson.
“I am still overwhelmed. Showing at Stockholm’s Mercedes-Benz fashion week has been such a great experience. I can’t believe so many people came to see my collection! This award gives me the confidence and financial back-up I need to pursue my dream of building my own brand. I couldn’t have imagined a better start to my career as a designer,” says Stine Riis, winner of the H&M Design Award 2012.
“Stine Riis took the top prize with a polished, well-cut collection of strict tailoring in contrasting materials including leather, wool, metallic and bonded fabrics. Her silhouette was lean but flowing, and particularly effective was her use of colour: a slim blue and orange bi-colour top, for example, or a blue coat stamped with white,” says Hilary Alexander, fashion journalist.
Stine Riis is a designer from Copenhagen who studied for her BA at the London College of Fashion in the United Kingdom. She called her final collection “Decadence & Decay”, and describes her style as “tailored future elegance.” Stine puts great importance into the creative process and wants the construction of the garments to be part of the design, while also making clothing that is both wearable and covetable.
Meanwhile, the winner of the H&M Design Award People’s Prize was announced today as Anne Bosman. The prize has been decided by visitors to the H&M Design Award website, who have been voting since January 27 for their favorite collection. Anne Bosman receives a month’s internship at Christopher Kane’s design studio in London, giving him the chance to gain invaluable experience with one of fashion’s hottest designers.
Set up to encourage and support the brightest young fashion talent, the H&M Design Award has seen graduates from fourteen colleges in six different countries compete first to be the local winner, and then go on to the grand prize jury. Today’s fashion show was the culmination of the award process, with Stine winning the opportunity to show her work at Stockholm’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The show was also streamed live at designaward2012.hm.com where the award process has been posted to inspire future generations interested in a career in fashion.