H&M Design Awards

H&M Design Award: Fashion for the future

Ahead of the ninth annual Design Award, H&M’s creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson lets us in on her favorite moments from the past, what wows her and how to make it in the industry.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FONDEST MEMORIES FROM PREVIOUS YEARS?
“There are so many. But seeing Richard Quinn being awarded by Queen Elizabeth II at London Fashion Week, so shortly after winning the H&M Design Award in 2017, was really special. It’s been such a trip to follow his career and see that he hasn’t compromised his aesthetic, vision and ambition along the way. The prize money he won helped him build his studio and launch his career, that’s really what this award is about.”

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE WINNER?
“Each collection and each designer is different and, in a way, they’re all my favorites. But the collection that felt the most personal and the most complete was Minju Kim’s from 2013.”

H&M Creative Advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson and Sabine Skarule, the winner of H&M Design Award 2020.

HOW HAVE YOUR AND THE JURY’S PERSPECTIVES CHANGED SINCE LAUNCHING H&M DESIGN AWARD? ARE OTHER SUBJECTS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN IN 2012?
“First and foremost we’re still looking for creativity, a unique voice, and something that really stands out. But sustainability is becoming more important, and we’ve noticed that most design students nowadays have a conscious mindset. To us, sustainability is definitely a big plus.”    

I want to see something that makes me curious, created by someone who loves fashion and the changeability of it. 


H&M’s creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson       

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT ALL DESIGN AWARD WINNERS HAVE IN COMMON? WHAT MAKES A WINNER?
“They’ve all presented something unique and had a grand creative vision. On top of that, they’ve all been lovely people with lots of humor, energy and generosity. They’ve made me curious and unleashed a wow feeling in me and the other jurors.” 

WHAT WOWS YOU?
“The unexpected! Fashion tends to become streamlined and look pretty much the same. I want to see something that makes me curious, created by someone who loves fashion and the changeability of it.”   

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE OF?
“Great sustainable collections. Also, something that’s more lo-fi and cozy rather than expressive. I think Peter Do and Bode are really interesting upcoming labels that represent something new.” 

COMPETITION IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS TOUGH. WHAT ARE YOUR BEST TIPS TO YOUNG DESIGNERS WANTING TO MAKE IT IN THE BUSINESS?
“If you have a strong vision and a clear goal — stick to it. Take advice, listen to peers and find mentors, but always benchmark the opinions of others against your own creative vision and gut feeling. If you’re just getting started in the industry, know that you don’t have to rush and that it’s okay to be patient. In the end, all experiences are good experiences. Remember to be friendly along the way.”

Sabine Skarule, the winner of H&M Design Award 2020.


H&M Design Award 2020 takes place in Berlin on November 28.

WINNERS THROUGH THE YEARS

2012: STINE RIIS KIM

2013: MINJU KIM

2014: EDDY ANEMIAN

2015: XIMON LEE

2016: HANNAH JINKINS

2017: RICHARD QUINN

2018: STEFAN COOKE

2019: PRIYA AHLUWALIA


H&M DESIGN AWARD

· The winner of H&M Design Award receives €25,000 and a paid internship at H&M’s head office. The winner has the option to exchange the internship for a grant of €25,000, making the total prize sum €50,000. 

· This year’s jury consists of Ann-Sofie Johansson and Margareta van den Bosch from H&M, last year’s winner Priya Ahluwalia, Véronique Tristram, Fashion Director Glamour Germany, photographer Felix Dol Maillot and Director at HTOWN Harry Fisher.

Back to feed
Back to top