The Thai music sensation headlines a star-studded list of guest jurors that also includes Chinese singer Chris Lee and fashion designers Kerby Jean-Raymond and Phoebe Philo, the latter making her first appearance on the fashion scene since exiting Celine at the end of 2017.
Revealing its 2021 guest jurors exclusively to WWD, ANDAM unfurled a diverse list of creative types that reflects a changing topography of influence as the traditional fashion gatekeepers — magazine editors and retailers — yields to photographers, educators, business disruptors, stylists, entertainers, digital enterprises and next-gen media personalities.
The other jury members are French singer and actress Lou Doillon; photographer Juergen Teller and his creative partner Dovile Drizyte; researcher and educator Linda Loppa; serial entrepreneur Natalie Massenet; Amazon’s head of fashion direction Sally Singer; stylist Marie Chaix; stylist and fashion editor Suzanne Koller of M Le Monde, and the editors Chioma Nnadi of Vogue.com and Pierre M’Pelé of The Perfect Magazine and the Instagram account Pam Boy.
Charbit decided to fling the door open wide and make the jury more varied, “progressive,” and international, which should further fan interest in the 32nd edition of the annual design competition, which recently upped the grand prize amount to 300,000 euros from 250,000 euros.
“The jury is coming from different horizons, and represent the different facets and faces of creativity today,” Charbit said in an interview. “It’s the only way that we give a good and proper reading of something that’s modern and conscious for a talent for tomorrow.
“The jury members are inspiring for all of us, because of their accomplishments, of course, but also because in one way or another each one has marked or changed his or her time and potentially the generations to come,” Charbit added. “I really want to thank them because I think it’s a very elegant gesture that you say, ‘Yes, I want to be part of this.’”
“We are super proud, and humbled in front of such a panel,” said ANDAM president Guillaume Houzé, who oversees communications for Galeries Lafayette Group and is president of the Galeries Lafayette Foundation.
As jury president, Charbit will serve as a mentor to the 2021 winner for one year “to help them scale their creative processes, strengthen their business and try to build international capacities,” Houzé explained. “So this level of commitment from a prominent figure in the luxury industry really helps.”
Houzé said ANDAM was one of the first fashion prizes to add a yearlong mentorship, starting in 2011 when luxury executive Ralph Toledano, now president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, was paired with that year’s winner Anthony Vaccarello, now the creative director of Saint Laurent.
“This is crucial to success. Money might give some wiggle room to run operations, but mentoring is really what can help young creative directors build their business vision and culture,” Houzé explained.
In his view, mentors can help young creatives sharpen their skills and capabilities across the supply chain, including digitalization, along with their sustainability credentials and soft skills. “Nothing great can be achieved today without humility,” he noted.
For its 2020 edition, which unfurled amid the early days of the coronavirus crisis, ANDAM pivoted to a “family fund award” focused on former winners and finalists, ultimately granting 200,000 euros to Marine Serre and 150,000 euros to Glenn Martens’ Y/Project.
Houzé said it was important to return to the fundamentals of ANDAM. “We may have spent almost a year behind our computer screens, but Paris remains the beating heart of the industry,” he said. “So it was essential for us to show the world that we could adapt and move on and get past this.”
Charbit said creativity remains a key criteria, and candidates are valued for being sustainable, commercial, different, inclusive, diverse and modern, as well as being an agent of change and being a “progressive leader” in fashion.
Given the travel restrictions and other pandemic-related challenges, much of the jury work will be done remotely, which Charbit and Houzé characterized as beneficial, putting all members on an equal footing no matter where they are in the world.
“It’s going to be easier for everybody,” Charbit said. “We all had a chance also to work remotely lately and to be able to assess a project in the calm and in your own environment makes a lot of sense.”
That said, Houzé held out hope that jurors and finalists can gather for the final deliberations and the announcement of the winner on July 1 in Paris. Organizers are eyeing a prestigious outdoor venue for what is usually a lively cocktail party and rare gathering of a broad cross-section of the industry.
Candidates are invited to apply online until April 27. Finalists are to be revealed at the end of May. Contenders for the grand prize can be of any nationality, but must own a French company or set one up during the same year as the receipt of the fellowship.
As reported, Sophie Delafontaine, artistic director at Longchamp, is to mentor the winner of the Pierre Bergé Prize, which focuses on young French companies and is worth 100,000 euros; Giovanna Engelbert, Swarovski’s creative director, the winner of the Fashion Accessories Prize, which comes with a sum of 50,000 euros, and Yann Gozlan, founder and president of Creative Valley, the Innovation Prize, also valued at 50,000 euros.
Created in 1989 by Nathalie Dufour with the support of the French Ministry of Culture and the DEFI and with the late Pierre Bergé as president, ANDAM — the French acronym for National Association of the Development of the Fashion Arts — has been a springboard for designers who would go on to achieve international recognition.
Past winners include Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire and Jeremy Scott.
ANDAM is also supported by large corporate sponsors, which now include Balenciaga, Chanel, Chloé, Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Galeries Lafayette, Google, Hermès, Kering, Lacoste, Longchamp, LVMH, L’Oréal Paris, OTB, Premiere Classe, Saint Laurent, Swarovski and Tomorrow. Executives from most of those firms comprise permanent members of the jury.