Graduate wins top prize at Hyères Fashion Festival

Two models wear designs from Ifeanyi Okwuadi's menswear collection

Article by: David Millett

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Ravensbourne BA (Hons) Fashion graduate, menswear designer Ifeanyi Okwuadi, has won the prestigious main prize at the 36th International Festival of Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories in Hyères.

Ifeanyi was awarded the ‘Grand Prix du Jury Première Vision’ in Fashion at the major industry event, attended by some of the biggest names in the business. Official partners for the 2021 festival included Chanel, LVMH, Chloé, Hermès, Kering, and Mercedes Benz. The winners were decided by a judging panel of industry experts, which was chaired by Louise Trotter, the creative director of Lacoste.

Ifeanyi Okwuadi holding award

As his prize, Ifeanyi takes home a grant of €20,000 and will receive a high level of visibility during the upcoming Première Vision Paris event. He will also undertake a collaborative project with the Chanel Métiers d’art, worth up to €20,000.

Ifeanyi’s winning menswear collection, ‘Take the toys from de boys’, was inspired by the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, a protest group established in 1981 who campaigned against the installation of nuclear missiles on a military base in Berkshire. Each look symbolised specific protest actions committed by the group.

Building on his experience working as an apprentice on Saville Row at the beginning of his career, the collection was praised for combining strong storytelling with fine tailoring and attention to detail.

The awards ceremony, hosted in the famous Villa Noailles in Hyères, south of France, took place in October, with exhibitions of the pieces continuing until the end of November. The festival is the oldest fashion competition for young professionals and has run since 1986.

His high-profile win has been celebrated in the fashion press, including by the likes of Vogue, WWD, Dazed and many more.

Ifeanyi Okwuadi and models wearing designs

Ifeanyi said: “It felt surreal to win the award. I knew Hyères to be of the highest achievement and during the whole process my only real motivation was to make a collection that was both well-made and told the story of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp.”

We congratulate Ifeanyi, who is currently based in London studying for a Master’s degree, for this fantastic achievement. We look forward to seeing the exciting creations he creates in his future projects.

You can follow Ifeanyi’s work at @ifeanyiokwuadi on Instagram and on his official website.