Aalto, by Finnish designer Tuomas Merikoski; Alyx, by American designer Matthew Williams; Facetasm, by Japanese designer Hiromichi Hiromichi Ochiai; Koché, by French designer Christelle Kocher; Vejas, by the Candian Vejas Kruszewski; Y/Project, by Belgian designer Glenn Martens; and American Brandon Maxwell's eponymous brand join Wales Bonner in the finalist line-up.
Celebrated for her work that sartorially explores black male representation through elaborate African craft techniques, Wales Bonner has already caught the attention of the British fashion industry who awarded her the Emerging Fashion Designer prize at last year's British Fashion Awards.
Delphine Arnault, director and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton (whose father Bernard Arnault is the CEO of LVMH), was keen to commend the Paris Fashion Week finalists, heralding them as proof the French fashion scene remains as innovative as ever.
"With three designers based in Paris in the final eight, the list reflects the vitality of the French fashion scene and the attractiveness of Paris for designers from all over the world," she said. "Among them, Koché was a semi-finalist last year. I'm also pleased to note that a Japanese designer has reached this level of the competition for the first time. I wish luck to all the finalists. It will be a hard task for our jury to choose one of them."
The winner, who will receive €300,000 and year-long mentorship, will be announced on June 16 and will follow in the footsteps of previous winners Marques Almeida, Thomas Tait, Hood By Air and Miuniku.