Maggie Marilyn Shortlisted for 2017 LVMH Prize

Kiwi designer Maggie Marilyn has been named one of 21 semi-finalists for the prestigious LVMH Prize for young fashion designers

Maggie Marilyn designer Maggie Hewitt. Picture / Jo Currie

New Zealand designer Maggie Hewitt, behind one of New Zealand's hottest brands Maggie Marilyn, has been named one of 21 designers shortlisted for the prestigious 2017 LVMH Prize.

The 22-year-old from Auckland is the first New Zealander to be shortlisted for the prize. 

Maggie was selected from over 1200 candidates from 90 countries, and has been invited to meet with 45 international fashion experts in Paris next week. Eight finalists will be selected.

Some of the experts on the panel include Carine Roitfeld, stylist and founder of CR Fashion Book; Emmanuelle Alt, Vogue Paris’ editor-in-chief; Imran Amed, the founder and editor of The Business of Fashion; models Natalia Vodianova, Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss; and influential fashion journalists Tim Blanks, Suzy Menkes, Cathy Horyn and contributing editor to US Vogue Sarah Mower.

Maggie was already flying to Paris on Monday to show her third collection to buyers and media when she found out she had been selected. Her second collection has just gone online at Net-a-Porter, and is already selling out, it is also stocked exclusively in New Zealand at The Shelter.

“It happened to be really good timing. There are two showroom days during Paris Fashion Week to meet with experts, fashion buyers, the press and celebrities, and you get one-on-one time to meet with each of the 45 experts," says Maggie.  

The LVMH Prize will be awarded by a jury made up of fashion's biggest names, including designers Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo (of Celine), Riccardo Tisci, Maria Grazia Chiuri (of Dior) and Nicolas Ghesquiere (Louis Vuitton) on June 16 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.

The winner will receive 300,000 euros ( about $439,000), a huge financial boost for a young brand, as well as mentoring from LVMH fashion creative directors, and fashion conglomerate LVMH for a year.

Previous winners include Grace Wales Bonner (2016), Marques'Almeida (2015) and Thomas Tait (2014).

Maggie has seen extraordinary success in the growth of her brand, which only launched in September 2016 and secured luxury online store Net-a-Porter as its first stockist (in New Zealand, the brand is available at The Shelter). She describes the last six months as a “fairy tale”.

"That is something that is also really special to me; to have gone through this whole roller-coaster ride in the last six months and to be based in New Zealand - that all of this is still possible," says Maggie. "That is something that I was adamant to prove - that I could still be based here, and it wouldn’t stop me from growing an international brand."

Last year she and her company managing director Jo Knight spoke to Viva, with their plan for 2017 to top the last.

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