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Matchesfashion adds three new designers to its Innovators programme

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Sep. 10, 2021

Fashion

Image: courtesy of Matchesfashion

Matchesfashion has added three new designers to its Innovators talent-support programme for 2021-2022, including Nensi Dojaka, the latest winner of the LVMH Prize.

Dojaka will be joined by menswear designer S.S. Daley and Maximilian, who celebrates Black history and identity in his work. All three were chosen for their “unique DNA and compelling stories,” explains Matchesfashion.

They join the 11 designers across womenswear and menswear announced last September, including Bianca Saunders, Ahluwalia, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Germanier, Harris Reed, Chopova Lowena, Halpern, Ludovic de Saint Sernin, Stefan Cooke, Thebe Magugu, and Wales Bonner.

The initiative was set up to champion emerging design and includes a package of support including preferential payment terms and mentorship, alongside marketing and content support, to which the retailer has committed 2.2 million pounds.

Damien Paul, head of menswear at Matchesfashion, said in a statement: “We have always been a supporter and incubator of design talent - offering our global customer the chance to discover a new generation of designers alongside the most coveted luxury fashion.

The Innovators programme formalises this support, recognising talent and promoting the launch of their collections on Matchesfashion. We are excited to continue our journey with our existing 11 innovators and look forward to welcoming Maximilian, Nensi Dojaka and S.S. Daley this season.”

Matchesfashion adds Nensi Dojaka, Maximilian, S.S. Daley to Innovators programme

To celebrate the second year of the Innovator programme, each designer has been paired with an established designer and invited to have “a conversation reflecting on the past, present and future of fashion”. These conversations will be broadcast across Matches’ channels throughout September and October.

The designer pairings include S.S. Daley and Thom Browne; Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena of Chopova Lowena and Marni’s Francesco Risso; Michael Halpern and Donatella Versace; Ludovic de Saint Sernin and Olivier Rousteing; and Grace Wales Bonner with Jill Sander’s Luke and Lucie Meier.

In addition, Thebe Magugu is in conversation with Martine Rose; Charles Jeffery with Vivienne Westwood; Harris Reed and Veronica Etro; Priya Ahluwalia with Ganni’s Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup; Stefan Cooke and Walter Van Beirendonck; and Bianca Saunders will discuss fashion with A-Cold-Wall’s Samuel Ross.

Simon Chilvers, creative director at Matchesfashion, added: “The idea of a space where big brands sit alongside emerging designers is at the very heart of Matchesfashion and this sense of discovery is why our customers come to us. This season our Innovators programme connected young design talent with more established brands for a series of conversations that covered everything from sustainability; to the future of runway shows; to how a collection begins.

“Taking place through a variety of mediums including video, zoom and e-mail, the conversations looked at what it means to be a fashion designer working now - I loved how these conversations evolved and how it became a discovery between the two brands. It is fantastic that so many of our designers want to support this new roster of talent - after all everyone was emerging at some point in their careers.”

Image: courtesy of Matchesfashion; Maximilian, Nensi Dojaka, S.S. Daley