University of Westminster fashion graduate, Priya Ahluwalia, has been announced as the winner of the H&M Design Award 2019, with a cash prize of € 50,000 for her collection on sustainable fashion.
Born in London with Nigerian and Indian heritage, Ahluwalia was selected from a pool of 10 finalists, by a panel of judges that included Christiane Arp, German Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief; broadcaster and consultant Camille Charrière; Jan-Michael Quammie, Highsnobiety’s Style Director; Writer Charlie Porter; H&M’s Creative Advisors Ann-Sofie Johansson and Margareta van den Bosch and the winner of the H&M Design Award 2018, Stefan Cooke.
“Priya is unique, something very new and exciting. She is a designer marrying sustainability with wearability and fashion. Priya proves that forward-thinking fashion can be sustainable,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, Creative Advisor at H&M.
Priya is a graduate from the MA course of the University of Westminster. Her collection combined both recycled materials with new sustainable fabrics, showing the possibilities for the future of environmentally responsible fashion. The London-born designer looked to her Nigerian and Indian heritage to bring stories of the garment waste industry to light, and to show how second-hand clothing can be used in a meaningful way. Her menswear is sporty, playful and serious in its message.
“Priya was so passionate, with a story that resonates with so many different cultures and backgrounds. She can be a leader, showing the industry that fashion can both be beautiful and environmentally conscious” Jan-Michael Quammie, Style Director of Highsnobiety, said.
The H&M Design Award is H&M’s annual prize for the best graduate designers from around the world. Currently running its eighth year, the award has previously been awarded to Richard Quinn, who proceeded to be one of London’s rising stars after receiving the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design during London Fashion Week AW’18 in February.
Last year’s winner, Stefan Cooke, joined the Fashion East collective and his collections are stocked across H&M stores including the one at Dover Street Market.
Other finalists for the 2019 award included Bo Xu, from the London College of Fashion, Erica Bergamaschi from Polimoda, Paolina Russo from Central Saint Martins and Guusje de Bruin from Artez. Each of these finalists have won 5000 Euro, in recognition of their work.