Turkish designer Hakaan Yildirim is the newest winner of ANDAM’s €220,000 prize

Turkish designer Hakaan Yildirim (pictured) is the newest winner of ANDAM’s €220,000 prize. Reached for comment in Istanbul, Yildrim and his friend and collaborator, Mert Alas, responded simply: “This is so magical. We are honored.” Hakaan beat out a strong group, including Mark Fast; former Mugler designer Alexandre Vauthier; Francesco Scognamiglio; former Balenciaga and Christian Lacroix designer Bouchra Jarrar; and Calla Haynes, who worked with Olivier Theyskens for five years at Rochas and Nina Ricci.

It was only last February, before his first London show, that English fashion scribes were wondering in print: “Who is Hakaan?” Besides reporting that he’d dressed Rose Byrne in one of his sculptured, feathered minidresses for the third-season premiere of Damages, they didn’t find much else to report. But his first show was a game-changer. It was star-studded on the runway (Lara Stone, Natalia Vodianova, Mariacarla Boscono, Natasha Poly, and Anja Rubik all walked) and in the front row (Carine Roitfeld made a special trip to London on the advice of Alas). The collection was glamorous and ultra-fitted, indulging in Yildirim’s passion for leather and ostrich feathers and drawing comparisons to Riccardo Tisci’s work for Givenchy.

Yildirim’s benefactors are as starry as his front row: The jury this year consisted of Roitfeld, LVMH’s Delphine Arnault, Alber Elbaz, Musée de la Mode curator Pamela Golbin, Colette’s Sarah Lerfel, Dazed & Confused’s Jefferson Hack, and Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon. And with the cash prize (up ⁈60,000 from last year’s trophy) come stipulations not only to show in Paris, but to open a French company, too. “We’ve felt the pressure to help France,” explains ANDAM founder Nathalie Dufour about the change. “This year’s six nominees included three French brands, but we want to be able to award talent wherever we find it, so we thought having the winner establish themselves by opening a French company was a logical step.”


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