Vaccarello, a 31-year-old Belgian-Italian designer based in Paris, won over judges including YSL co-founder Pierre Berge, journalist Hilary Alexander and French Vogue Editor Emmanuelle Alt with his brand of draped, notched, layered mini-dresses.
‘I was totally shocked to win,’ Vaccarello told us. ‘I didn’t expect it because all the other contenders had better texts and speeches to explain what they wanted to do. But I think people liked the three dresses I presented for the next collection.’
The designer previously won the Hyeres prize in France with his graduate collection. Vaccarello went on to work with Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi before stepping out on his own in 2008. We’ve been fans since spotting his S/S ’11 look book, for which friend Lou Doillon modelled all of the looks (very Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, right?).
Winning the ANDAM Prize has catapulted previous victors such as Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh and Hakaan to greater international attention and interest from key global stockists. The prize carries a €200,000 award, €10,000 worth of Swarovski crystals for his S/S ’12 collection, and mentorship from former Chloe CEO Ralph Toledano.
Vaccarello said the ANDAM money will allow him to strengthen his manufacturing and distribution networks, and enable him to mount a sleeker presentation in September. But it won’t change the brand fundamentals, he promised.
‘From the beginning, I have wanted the brand to grow slowly. We are more about choosing good stockists than trying to be the hip new designer,’ he said. ‘It won’t be something that will completely change the way I work, but it will help for sure. It’s more about the prestige of the prize. I just want to continue and grow slowly.
‘I will try to bring something more different than what I did before, but it will always be in the same signature and same idea.’
Vaccarello beat out fellow nominees Adam Kimmel, Commuun, Jeremy Laing, Matthew Harding and runner-up Yiqing Yin.