Christopher Esber, 3.Paradis and Meryll Rogge are among the finalists for ANDAM Fashion Awards

PARIS — Christopher Esber, 3.Paradis and Meryll Rogge are among the six finalists for the top prize of the ANDAM Awards 2024, joining an eclectic line-up that reflects the cultural diversity of the guest jury composed by Anthony Vaccarello, who announced the winner of the fashion prize for the 35th anniversary edition.

Based in Sydney, Esber has won over fans like Zendaya and Dua Lipa with his minimalist summer styles. He has a chance to win the main prize, which comes with a cash prize of 300,000 euros, less than a year after his debut at Paris Fashion Week.

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The label 3.Paradis, founded in Canada by French designer Emeric Tchatchoua, organized its first fashion show in Paris in 2023 after 10 years of operation. The genderless line, known for its signature dove motif symbolizing peace and unity, has been worn by the likes of Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber.

Rogge, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, launched her unisex label in 2019 after stints with Marc Jacobs and Dries Van Noten, and is known for pieces in bold and unexpected combinations of masculine and feminine elements.

They are joined by Marie Adam-Leenaerdt, who showed her first collection last year and received critical acclaim with her conceptual pieces that play with everyday objects and proportions. The Brussels-born and bred graduate of La Cambre Mode(s) cut her teeth at Givenchy and Balenciaga before quickly striking out on her own.

Anthony VaccarelloAnthony Vaccarello

The shortlist is completed with Ruohan, the label founded by Chinese designer Ruohan Nie in 2020, and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, a brand with roots in London’s queer nightlife that is celebrating its 10th anniversary.e anniversary this year.

Applicants for ANDAM’s top prize can be of any nationality, but must own a French company or set one up in the same year they receive the grant. ANDAM will also award a second special prize, with a cash prize of 100,000 euros, to one of the finalists of the ceremony, scheduled for June 27.

The three nominees for the Pierre Bergé Prize, worth 100,000 euros, are Boyarovskaya, created by designer Maria Boyarovskaya and fashion photographer Artem Kononenko; Pièces Uniques, a Paris-based clothing brand founded by Edmond Luu, and Vaillant, designed by Alice Vaillant, known for lingerie-inspired camisoles and slip dresses worn by the likes of Kylie Jenner and Rita Ora.

Boyarovskaya and Vaillant were previously shortlisted for the Pierre Bergé Prize in 2022 and 2023 respectively.

The contenders for the Accessories Prize, worth 100,000 euros, are French jewelry brand Hugo Kreit, by Hugo Kreit and Nordine Makhloufi, whose futuristic designs have been worn by rappers such as Cardi B and Doja Cat; Maeden, an Amsterdam-based leather goods brand under the creative direction of Christian Heikoop, and Sarahlevy, founded by Belgian designer Sarah Levy, known for her avant-garde designs such as the Chest bag, consisting of a fetish-style leather bra.

ANDAM founder and managing director Nathalie Dufour noted that almost half of the finalists are women. “That’s interesting because it means things are evolving and there are more and more female entrepreneurs creating their own brands,” she told WWD.

Aside from the fact that several finalists graduated from La Cambre, Vaccarello’s alma mater, she said the guest jury chosen by Saint Laurent’s creative director had cast a wide net.

“The judges are completely independent and have very eclectic tastes,” Dufour noted.

Rosé of Blackpink, model and singer Carla Bruni, and actress and musician Charlotte Gainsbourg are among the 13 guest members selected by Vaccarello, who won the award in 2011.

Anja RubikAnja Rubik

Anja Rubik

“To be on the ANDAM jury with my friend Anthony Vaccarello, who I proudly supported when he won thirteen years ago, comes full circle,” said model Anja Rubik, another guest jury member. “I am looking for finalists who bring the same passion and innovation as Anthony.”

The guest members join a permanent jury of senior representatives from the award’s corporate sponsors, who represent a broad section of the fashion industry.

Fashion awards have become an even more crucial source of funding and mentorship as small brands face a slowdown in luxury spending that has impacted the wholesale market, leaving many independent brands on the brink of collapse.

The Vampire’s Wife and Mara Hoffman are among the brands that recently announced they will be ceasing operations.

“The brands in this selection have all shown a certain degree of maturity, whether it is in their positioning, their community or their sales network,” said Dufour.

“It’s not just emerging brands competing for the top prize, so it may be a way to support established brands that face barriers to growth due to the complex geopolitical environment,” she added.

The 12 finalists will have access to deadstock materials from Balenciaga and Longchamp, while OTB will host a workshop on best practices in sustainable design, and WSN and Première Classe will present the winners at their trade shows.

Google will provide access to coaches to help the brands develop their digital presence, while online retailer Mytheresa will offer a working session with members of its digital leadership, in addition to visibility on its social media channels. Swarovski, Tomorrow and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum also provide advice and expertise.

ANDAM, founded in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour, with the support of the French Ministry of Culture and DEFI, a body that promotes the development of the French fashion industry, and with the late Pierre Bergé as president, has been a springboard for designers who continue gaining international recognition.

Past winners include Viktor&Rolf, Christophe Lemaire, Jeremy Scott and Marine Serre. French designer Louis-Gabriel Nouchi won the 2023 prize, while Ester Manas and Duran Lantink both received the second special prize.

ANDAM – the French acronym for National Association of the Development of the Fashion Arts – is supported by Balenciaga, Bureau Betak, Chanel, Chloé, Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Galeries Lafayette, Google, Hermès, Kering, Lacoste, Longchamp, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal Paris, Meta, Mytheresa, OTB, Premiere Classe, Saint Laurent, Swarovski and Tomorrow.

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