H&M crowned graduate designer Sabine Skarule the winner of its H&M Design Award 2020 last night, taking home a £50,000 prize.
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp) graduate presented a collection inspired by “the craft of her homeland” [Latvia] and her childhood memories there. It featured knitted pieces with folkloric patterns, and sharp yet feminine tailoring.
Skarule said: “Winning the H&M Design Award is an amazing starting point for me to begin my own label. This prize opens the door and gives me the freedom to fulfil my dreams”.
The judges were: Design Award 2019 winner Priya Ahluwalia; photographer Felix Dol Maillot; Glamour Germany fashion director Véronique Tristam; fashion consultant Harry Fisher; and H&M creative advisers Ann-Sofie Johansson and Margareta van den Bosch.
Johansson said: “Sabine’s collection was truly amazing. It was such an emotional collection that really touches you. There were so many different elements, so much craft and technique. It makes you want to see more.”
Skarule follows in the footsteps of past winners British designers Richard Quinn (2017) and Stefan Cooke (2018).
Now in its ninth year, the annual competition aims to “shine a light on exciting new design talent, nurture graduate designers and encourage the next generation of young creatives to become part of fashion’s future”.
It was open to BA and MA graduates from 42 design school across 17 countries.