Masayuki Ino Wins LVMH Prize

Last night, Emma Stone, speaking beautifully in French, announced Japanese designer Masayuki Ino as the winner of the 2018 LVHM Prize for emerging talent.

The ceremony took place in Paris, in the presence of panellists including Karl Lagerfeld of Fendi, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière and Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller. Winning definitely wasn’t a walk in the park for Mr Ino; the exciting talent fought off some 1,300 applicants to walk away with the stunning €300,000 prize fund and a year of mentoring from professionals at the French luxury fashion group.

At 38, Ino was the oldest of the nine finalists and beat the likes of upcoming designers Samuel Ross, Charles Jeffrey, Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta and Rok Hwang. Due to the fierce competition of this year’s contest, the panel could only narrow the finalists down to nine, as opposed to the usual eight and issued a special ‘runners-up’ prize to South Korean talent Rok Hwang. Ino was the first Asian designer to the win the main award and with Hwang also being accoladed on the night, it epitomises the growing influence Asian culture is having on emerging fashion.

As a graduate from Tokyo’s Mode Gakuen College of Fashion and Design, Ino worked as an accessories designer for Miharayasuhiro, before launching his award-winning brand, Doublet, in 2012. Poised as a gender-neutral Japanese street wear label, his collection included a t-shirt-in-a-cup concept (just add water), clear-sleeved baseball jacket and sunset/surfer print shorts in PVC. His style and aesthetic was compared to Issey Miyake by Delhine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton and the founder of the prize, “The true originality of his universe feels akin to what Issey Miyake was doing in the eighties. When you look at how far Marine Serre has come in the past year, it’s really gratifying to see a new vision and energy come to life. We’re looking forward to helping him develop internationally.”

In 2016, Ino’s Doublet won the Tokyo Fashion Award which ignited global recognition. He commented, “the active exhibition that we've had oversees—especially in Paris during Fashion Week—has all been due to the award. It gained Doublet recognition all around the world.” The Tokyo based designer will return to Paris in a couple of weeks to present his men’s wear collection; one that we are all very excited to see.