Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter bagged €300,000 in cash for their vision of Caribbean couture

Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter are part of a new generation of designers who see fashion as a way to engender change. With Botter, the duo have brought “Caribbean couture” to Paris, where wetsuits are spliced into loose-cut tailoring, nautical polos are sent out with tide-battered threads, and upside-down constructions transform trousers into pseudo-sweaters. Beyond all the fishing lure and hefty swimming goggles, however, the designers have spent the past few years building nurseries along the island of Curaçao, nurturing unhealthy corals back to life. 

“It just didn’t feel honest to just talk about problems without acting on them, we needed to see direct changes ourselves,” they told us in an interview last year. It’s this sense of perspective that just landed Herrebrugh and Botter €300,000 in cash and a year of coaching from the president of Chanel as the 2022 winners of the prestigious ANDAM prize. Pledging to spend the money on the development of biotextiles and the management of their Curaçao coral farm, the only catch is that award recipients must own a French company or set one up during the same year as the receipt of the fellowship.

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Unveiled in an open-air ceremony in the gardens of the Palais-Royal in Paris, last night also saw womenswear designer Robert Wun take home the €100,000 Special Prize, while Bluemarble received €100,000 as part of the Pierre Bergé Prize, and the accessories award went to Dolly Cohen, who designs grills for Rosalía, Beyoncé and Madge. “ANDAM is a force for good and a force for fashion. Paris is absolutely buzzing, booming; everybody wants to come back. So it’s a super exciting period,” chairman Guillaume Houzé said. Familiarise yourself with Botter’s work in the gallery above, and revisit our interview with the designers here.