Hannah Jinkins, a graduate from the Royal College of Art was crowned the victor last night of the H&M Design Award 2016 in a event held at London's Kensington Place.
Jinkins was named the winner from a group of eight finalists by an international jury which included the likes of Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing and photographer Nick Knight. As the winner of the H&M Design Award 2016, Jinkins is set to receives a one-year mentorship from H&M, a cash prize of 50,000 euros as well as the opportunity to develop a winning collection as a capsule collection to be sold in selected H&M stores around the globe and online next autumn. The eight selected finalists were each awarded 5,000 euros respectively.
The 24 year old designer, who hails from London, graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2015. Within her collection she sought to create balance between more rough and tough materials such as raw denim and inner linings of silk. Her silhouettes are oversized, yet feminine at the same time, showing "a real understanding of the female body," according to a statement from H&M.
"I feel very honoured and proud to have won the H&M Design Award," said Jinkins on her winning. "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."
Members of the jury were quick to share their praise for Jinkins winning collection and vision of womenswear. "I was so impressed by Hannah’s collection. It is very contemporary, with a real understanding of a woman’s body," said Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor of H&M. "It feels like something very new in womenswear, which makes her such an exciting winner of the H&M Design Award 2016."
"Hannah is amazing," added Olivier Rousteing. 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."
Kate Bosworth stressed the graduates talent to combine many different aspects skilfully within her designs. "Hannah is really brilliant. She has the ability to balance so many difficult things, like the raw with the refined, or something very grown up with something more youthful. I found choosing the winner of the H&M Design Award very difficult, because the calibre of the finalists is up there with the best in fashion."
The eight finalists for the H&M Design Award 2016 were selected from 40 of the world's most respected design schools, which each designer presenting four different looks from their graduation collections to a private audience, which included the jury panel, as well as selected members of the global fashion media, who where invited for the first time.
This year's design award featured students from the highest number of schools to date, with participating colleges hailing from Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the US, Japan and Korea. H&M founded its Design Award in 2012, as part of its ongoing commitment to the future of fashion. The annual award to open to both students and graduates of the world's most prestigious designs schools in 16 countries.