Yesterday afternoon, at the Orangery in Kensington Palace, high-street giants H&M hosted a bumper-fashion show and announced the winner of their prestigious Design Award. Eight finalists, selected from over 40 of the world’s most respected design schools, showed several looks from their graduate collections to an audience of fashion press and, of course, the all important jury – which included heavy-weight names like Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, fashion film pioneer Nick Knight, and model-cum-actor Kate Bosworth.
The Design Award – which H&M began in 2012 to foster future talent – was given to 24-year old Hannah Jinkins, who graduated from London’s very own Royal College of Art in 2015. Her over-sized yet feminine womenswear collection impressed the jury with its obvious understanding of the female body and its juxtapositions between rough and smooth fabrics. Rousteing gave a glowing judgement of the collection, commenting, “Hannah is amazing. She has her own unique vision. She has such strong energy, she’s modern, young and really knows what she wants. She works with a tough fabric, yet somehow manages to make it sexy and glamorous at the same time.”
Jinkins was understandably pretty thrilled after being praised by some of fashion’s biggest players: “I feel very honoured and proud to have won the H&M Design Award. When my name was announced, it was very surreal and I felt quite emotional. I want to start my own label, and winning the award means I can follow my dream.” She will receive quite a prize haul: not only a one year mentorship from H&M, but also 50,000 and the opportunity to develop and then sell her graduate collection in select H&M stores. It wasn’t all disappointment for the seven runners up, as they each got to take home €5000.