With an A-list jury that included H&M Advisors Ann-Sofie Johansson and Margareta van den Bosch, actress and model Kate Bosworth, fashion designer Olivier Rousteing, photographer Nick Knight and blogger Chiara Ferragni, the H&M Design Award has finally a winner: Hannah Jinkins. The Swedish retailer’s jury, who had previously whittled down the competitors from 23 to 8, particularly enjoyed Jinkins’ workwear-inspired collection, as it explores “gender boundaries, denim culture and mending opposites” with a “raw and defined” style.
The competition, which took place in London on December 7th, 2015 and is now at its eighth edition, features a cool €50,000 in prize money, a year-long mentorship with the brand, as well as the possibility to develop and sell the winner’s key pieces at H&M. Hannah Jinkins, the 24-year-old London-native graduate from Royal College Of Art who won the award and managed to get a Japanese denim mill sponsor for this A/W 2015 collection of hers, is understandably on cloud nine at the moment, saying she will be excited to see “how things can be commercialized. It’ll be nice to see how people can wear [the collection] on an everyday basis.” Her future plans? To invest the money in her own brand, working on her next collection and maybe “to buy a puppy”.
“It is a really experimental collection to me, where I explored gender boundaries, mending techniques and creating balances between the masculine and the elements of feminine luxury. Denim, the denim industry and the culture surrounding it was a big inspiration when creating the collection. I looked a lot at work wear too,” declared Jinkins.
As for the jury, the members have nothing but kind words of encouragement for this young talented designer. H&M creative advisor Margareta van der Bosch stated that the Swedish brand is “not looking for something commercial at this point,” and that it’s all a matter of aesthetics. “If you have ideas, you can always make something out of it,” thus celebrating Jinkins’ sense of style and creativity.
Kate Bosworth praised Jinkins’ attention to details, keen eye for innovations and hard work, stating that: “Hannah is really brilliant. She has the ability to balance so many difficult things, like the raw with the refined, or something very grown up with something more youthful. I found choosing the winner of the H&M Design Award very difficult, because the calibre of the finalists is up there with the best in fashion. […] I was very interested in Hannah’s process. She’s been trying the clothes on lots of different women, basing the fit of her garments on their feedback. I loved the shapes and even though she’s been currently working a lot with denim, her techniques can also be applied onto luxury fabrics.”
As for the other finalists, five of eight have all graduated from London Design School, while the rest come from different educational backgrounds. There was Patrik Guggenberger, from Stockholm’s Beckmans College, Chung from Sadi from design school in Seoul and Long Xu from the New School’s Parsons School of Design. The other London-based finalists were Milligan Beaumont, Jemma Beech and Gabriel Castro, and Ka Wa Key Chow.
Photos courtesy of H&M