by Alexander Fury .

ANDAM Finalists Announced!

Fashion is obsessed by youth - not only on the catwalk, but behind it as well. Witness London's NEWGEN scheme, giving a leg-up to, well, a new generation of fashion talent each season which in the past has included the likes of Christopher Kane, Erdem, Marios Schwab and latest grad Mary Katrantzou. Not to be outdone, the French fashion establishment have their own counterpart in ANDAM, equally dedicated to the development of new talent - a €200,000 prize being awarded to a single exceptional recipient, who is then offered a coveted slot on the Paris fashion week schedule. Previous recipients have included Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon and Hakaan Yildirim. Today came the announcement of their six finalists for this year's hefty prize - and amongst the new, there are some rather more familiar names. Adam Kimmel, for one, is a menswear designer who has been creating acclaimed and highly-influential collections since 2002; the Paris-based Commuun label, by Kaito Hori and Iku Furudate, has been in business since 2005 (and bagged ANDAM back in 2007); and Jeremy Laing has been a NYC fashion week must-see for five years. On the flip side, Matthew Harding is a fresh Central Saint Martins graduate (class of 2010), Yiqing Yin graduated from the ENSAD decorative arts school in Paris in September 2009, and Anthony Vacarello's re-imagined Robert Palmer girls and wicked way with a metal staple (see image above) has only been pounding the Paris catwalks for a couple of years. Something old, something new - we'll have to wait until the end of June for the winner to be chosen, and until next season to see what said winner does with the cash and the flash of a Paris showcase for their talents. Slightly closer, in time and to home, this season's selection for London's NEWGEN scheme will be unveiled on 7 June at Somerset House. I was honoured to be included in the selection panel this season, but my lips are sealed as to the recipients until the official announcement in just over a week.