British Designer Hanan Tantush Wins Third Edition of Grand Prix Inclusive Design

PARIS — British designer Hanan Tantush has won the 2024 edition of the Grand Prix Inclusive Design with a collection designed for wheelchair users.

The founder of adaptive clothing range Intotum accepted the prize remotely at a ceremony on Thursday night at the Institut Français de la Mode, or IFM, with the 10-member jury praising her skill at assessing the specific needs of people with disabilities.

French designer Bénédicte de Torquat received a special mention in the biennial competition, established five years ago by online talent platform Eyes on Talents in concert with sustainable fashion body Paris Good Fashion and advocacy group APF France Handicap.

Tantush will receive a 10,000-euro grant and mentoring by APF Entreprises and its partners, along with visibility via the digital channels of Eyes on Talents and Paris Good Fashion. The designer was selected among 34 applicants from more than 10 countries.

“She worked in collaboration with associations and caregivers to select appropriate materials, such as jersey or fleece, which offer softness, comfort and practicality. These materials have been tested for water resistance and ease of washing, meeting the practical needs of users,” the organization said in a statement. 

“By incorporating feedback and extensive testing, Hanan has designed clothing that combines functionality and aesthetics, offering a solution adapted to the very diverse needs of wheelchair users,” it added.

Designs by adaptive clothing range Intotum.

Designs by adaptive clothing range Intotum.

Laurent Julliand/Courtesy image

A graduate of the London College of Fashion, the 22-year-old decided to create designs that blend fashion-forward aesthetics with functional features after seeing her grandfather struggle to find clothing that worked comfortably with his stoma and surgery recovery.

“I think that adaptive wear is part of the future of fashion and this project represents the culmination of years of development and work with this community, to get as close as possible to its needs and desires,” said Tantush, who also consults for brands seeking to adopt more inclusive practices.

“I am delighted to have been selected for this award and above all very happy to see the spotlight on adaptive wear on an international level,” she added.

De Torquat was singled out for her brand Aequidem, which creates clothes for teenagers and young adults who spend long periods in hospital and struggle to get dressed.

She came up with the project while studying for an executive MBA in global fashion management at the IFM, following 20 years of working in fashion retail with luxury brands including Givenchy and Balenciaga.

De Torquat was called to action after suffering a car accident at the age of 23, and subsequently seeing teenagers in her circle deal with lengthy illnesses, and will receive mentoring to develop her project. 

Bénédicte de Torquat

Bénédicte de Torquat

Laurent Julliand/Courtesy image

According to the World Health Organization, 16 percent of people have some kind of disability, forming the world’s largest minority community. Persons with disabilities have twice the risk of developing conditions such as depression, asthma, diabetes, stroke, obesity or poor oral health, it estimates.

Paris-based executive search specialist Floriane de Saint Pierre, who founded Eyes on Talents a decade ago as an online platform for connecting brands with international design talents, said the competition’s objective is to coax creative designs addressing differently abled people, whether via function or an aesthetic reconsideration of an existing object.

“Our dream is to help such projects and talent not only with recognition and visibility, but in accessing brands, and meaningful partnerships for production and distribution,” she told WWD earlier this year.

De Saint Pierre enthused that the 2024 competition is “very special as it takes place during the year of the Olympics and Paralympics Games in Paris.” The IFM, which plans to launch a special course on adaptive design next fall, also hosted a round table discussion on the topic.

The jury included Swedish designer Louise Linderoth, winner of the 2022 edition of the prize; Camille Hutin, general manager of Chanel-owned La Galerie 19M; Pascal Morand, executive president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode; Xavier Romatet, dean of the Institut Français de la Mode; luxury advisory executive Morin Oluwole, and Berlin-based art director Donald Schneider.

Rounding out the list are de Saint Pierre; her Eyes on Talents partner Astrid de Montessus; Paris Good Fashion cofounder Isabelle Lefort, and Serge Widawski, chief executive officer of APF France Handicap, the oldest advocacy group for disabled people in France.

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