The Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize 2022 reveals Valentin Lessner as the winner

MERCEDES-Benz’s longstanding association with Festival d’Hyères shows no signs of slowing down. Following last year’s announcement of the first Sustainability Prize as a development Sustainability Mentorship in collaboration with the non-profit Fashion Open Studio, the brand continues to demonstrate commitment to the partnership and stays dedicated to supporting the next generation of international talent.

The exciting initiative aimed at educating the up-and-coming talent about the greatest environmental practices and facilitating the sustainable development of their brands was finalized last Sunday at the 37th closing ceremony of Festival d’Hyeres. Reflecting on Mercedes-Benz’s devotion to a more ethical future for the fashion industry, the programme has also announced the prize award with a grant of 20,000 euros.

The 10 chosen fashion enthusiasts had to face professional assessment by the Fashion Jury headed by Glenn Martens – the Creative Director of the Y/Project, along with Grand Prix of Jury Première Vision winner Ifeanyi Okwuadi and Ottolinger’s founders Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient.

Coming from all over the world, these young and promising designers presented unique ethos and innovative approaches they worked to embody in womenswear, menswear, and gender-neutral designs.

Tim Suessbauer

Jenny Hytönen

The contestant to best incorporate the sustainable learnings from the Mentorship unveiled to be Valentin Lessner. In the course of the programme, he worked on upcycling existing pieces of wear and repurposed his grandmother’s scarf and other discarded materials to create new designs.

The emotional depth and individuality within Lessner’s design approach appeared to make a significant impression. As the Festival’s Fashion Jury shared on their decision: “The vote for the Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Prize 2022 winner was unanimous as Valentin Lessner was able to translate sustainability with a contemporary, ready-to-wear approach”.

Valentin Lessner & Julia Hoffman

by Zlata Kriukova