The year is 2021: today’s greatest designers gathered in the auditorium of the Fondation Louis Vuitton to select the winners of the 8th edition of the prestigious LVMH Prize. Louis Vuitton Vice Chairman Delphine Arnault was joined by Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Kim Jones (Dior men and Fendi women), the late Virgil Abloh (Off-White and Louis Vuitton men), Jonathan Anderson, Sidney Toledano (Chairman of the LVMH Fashion Group) and Jean-Paul Claverie (advisor to Bernard Arnault and Director of Patronage at LVMH).
While the Albanian designer Nensi Dojaka was unanimously awarded the Grand Prix, the jury’s special prize – renamed the Karl Lagerfeld Prize – went to three different designers against all odds. They were the South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, the Chinese designer Rui Zhou and… Colm Dillane for his label KidSuper.
Colm Dillane was certainly no stranger to the fashion scene at the time, but he was still under the radar of fashion aficionados. Who is this young designer who has come out of nowhere to inspire the masses? Here is a short rundown of his most memorable moments:
February 2020 is the date of Colm Dillane’s first show for KidSuper. To mark the occasion, he incorporated into the opening dress of the show the letter of acceptance from the Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion that he had received a few months earlier.
And even though he was now part of the official fashion week calendar he eventually avoided the catwalk to focus on a digital show, like most of his counterparts.
For his first real show at the Paris Fashion Week in June 2022, Dilane staged a pastiche of the famous auction house Sotheby’s as a fashion show entitled “Superby’s”.
Twenty-three of his own paintings, as well as twenty-three original looks with loose-fitting volumes and workwear references directly inspired by the works, were on display.
The Clou: The auction sale was far from being a scam and Colm Dillane raised more than $500,000, most of which he donated to foundations supporting young designers
And just a few weeks ago (with just two runway shows under his belt) this 30-something creative mind got to co-create the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2023 menswear collection. A fashion happening that probably catapulted the designer onto the radar of many fashionistas – not least because at the time, Abloh’s successor was unknown. However, it must be emphasised: Dillane’s work was certainly not invisible.
Pop star Dua Lipa, Brazilian footballer Neymar, producer Princess Nokia, Joey Badass, J. Balvin, or Bad Bunny: all have been quickly drawn to the multicolored and very New York aesthetics of KidSuper, whose name evokes the founder’s pseudonym back when he started his (short) career as a rapper. No wonder: his wardrobe and approach to fashion are unique.
A wardrobe that includes scathing patchworks reminiscent of the Big Apple in the nineties, the wilderness of the pop art king Andy Warhol, the fluorescent visuals of the underground filmmaker Harmony Korine and some illustrations of children’s tales printed on corduroy and other textiles.
We can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next.