STEPHANE ASHPOOL’S GRAND PRIX
By Elizabeth Patterson
Congratulations are in order for Stéphane Ashpool, whose brand Pigalle just won the ANDAM Grand Prix Award. Hot off a sold-out collaboration with Nike, Ashpool’s future looks bright with another victory under his belt. The prestigious award comes with more than just a title and bragging rights – it includes a purse of €250,000, a year’s mentorship from Bruno Pavlovsky, the President of fashion at Chanel, €10,000 worth of Swarovski crystals, and a collaboration with thecorner.com, where Ashpool’s SS16 collection will be available. Ashpool beat out heavy upstarts like Vetements and Umit Benan to take home the huge prize by winning over the jury that included Haider Ackermann, Pierre Bergé and Nadja Swarovski with his street cool sportswear line Pigalle. Pavlovsky noted that the bright colors and upbeat vibe of the brand were what won him over.
Self-taught, Ashpool founded Pigalle in 2008, named after and created in the Pigalle neighborhood of Paris, where he grew up. His collections have a distinctly sporty vibe to them – maybe influenced by the fact that Ashpool coaches a basketball team, who he presented his vivid SS16 collection on. On or off the court, Ashpool’s clothing carries an undeniable cool factor, heightened by the fact that in the brands earlier days it was available exclusively at his only store in France. With his startup days behind him, Ashpool stated that he plans to invest his prize money in a proper atelier that he hopes to attract young people to work in. Ashpool sees them as not only the future but also some of his target consumers, and he is eager to introduce them to the technical world of fashion. He also has eyes on developing more fabrics in-house, and is considering expanding to e-commerce.
The other winners of the 2015 ANDAM prizes include Léa Peckre, whose undulating, architectural constructions have received much praise; and Charlotte Chesnais, a Ghesquière alum who won the first annual accessories prize for her delicate, flowing jewelry.
Ashpool won’t soon be forgotten. Previous winners of the ANDAM Grand Prix include Iris van Herpen and Yiqing Yin. Van Herpen, who won just last year, says her mentorship from François-Henri Pinault was invaluable in growing her ready-to-wear line, and that retailers for her line surged. With an already devoted fanbase and backing from youth tastemakers like A$AP Rocky and Rihanna, Ashpool’s star can only burn brighter.