Latvian graduate Sabine Skarule from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium was the winner of the H&M Design Award 2020. Sabine was chosen by a panel of industry experts for her collection inspired by the craft of her homeland, winning a prize valued at €50,000. Read about the H&M Design Award and why a Latvian graduate was the winner of the Swedish Design Award 2020.
Now in its ninth year, the H&M Design Award is one of the world’s most respected fashion prizes, supporting graduate designers at a crucial stage in their career. The H&M Design Award proves H&M’s deep commitment to young creatives, and to the future of global fashion. H&M believes passionately in nurturing fashion’s young talent.
Starting point for own label
“It’s unbelievable. Winning the H&M Design Award is such an amazing starting point for me to begin my own label. This prize opens the door, and gives me the freedom to fulfill my dreams,” says Sabine Skarule, winner of the H&M Design Award 2020.
“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,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor.
Memories of her Latvian childhood
Sabine’s winning collection drew on her memories of her Latvian childhood. The knitting techniques came from a time pre-internet, when Sabine made clothes with her mother. Sabine took this heritage and gave it a fresh point of view, with knit pieces that played with scale of stitches as well as folkloric patterns, contrasted with sharp yet feminine tailoring.
Sabine joins a list of past winners who have gone on to international success. 2017’s winner Richard Quinn is now one of the hottest names in fashion, with Her Majesty The Queen sitting front row at one of his shows, and Cardi B stopping traffic in Paris wearing a Quinn head-to-toe floral look. 2018’s winner Stefan Cooke is now stocked at respected stores such as Dover Street Market, while 2019’s winner Priya Ahluwahlia has already become a figurehead of the new upcycling movement.
Related: Swedish Fashion Hope
This year’s jury
This year’s jury featured Priya Ahluwalia, who won the H&M Design Award 2019; the photographer Felix Dol Maillot; the fashion director of Glamour Germany, Véronique Tristam; London-based fresh fashion talent supporter Harry Fisher, plus H&M’s creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson and Margareta van den Bosch.
The H&M Design Award
The H&M Design Award was established in 2012, with a passion to celebrate and support young talent from around the world. Since then, over 4000 graduates have applied, with 160 finalists taking part over the years.
The H&M Design Awards 2020 was open to both BA and MA graduates from 42 selected design school in 17 countries. It’s about shining a light on the most exciting new design talent, nurturing graduate designers, and also encouraging the next generation of young creatives to become part of fashion’s future.
Latvian Graduate Winner of Swedish Design Award 2020, based on a press release from H&M
To read more about H&M Design Award, visit H&M Magazine
All photos © H&M