The Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize is Scandinavia’s most prestigious award for fashion design. The Prize was established by the Wessel & Vett Foundation in 2012 as an expression of its core values: entrepreneurship and creativity. The Prize reflects the Foundation’s commitment to nurturing Danish design talent and building on the heritage of Magasin as a historical fashion institution.

SAKS POTTS is the winner of the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize 2023

The winner of the Nordic region's leading and influential fashion award for the most promising fashion entrepreneurs was announced by Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, Founder of the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize at an award ceremony that took place yesterday, October 24th, 2023, in Copenhagen at Designmuseum Denmark.

The Wessel & Vett Foundation generously sponsored the prizes, and the winner received a cash prize of 300.000 DKK (€40.000). Furthermore, Saks Potts will gain valuable advantages through a partnership between the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize and Copenhagen Fashion Week, which will provide extensive communication and inclusion in all the official activities and opportunities of Copenhagen Fashion Week, valued at 250.000 DKK (€33.500).

“We are so honored and grateful to win the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize. It means a lot to us! We started this company when we were just 19 and 20 years old, and we grew up with it. It feels good to win after nine years. We have managed to build a brand that is much bigger than our business, by leveraging our community and by thinking internationally from the very beginning! Authenticity, craftsmanship and our community are at the heart of our work and winning the prize will allow us to continue to stick to our core values! With a small but passionate team, we dream big. This prize marks a significant step towards more exciting collaborations and sustainability improvements. We're on a mission to encourage our customers to buy products of even higher quality, keep their styles for many years, repair and care, and even resell after use, so someone else can cherish Saks Potts afterwards. Every day, we strive for improvement, driven by our commitment to being authentic and doing things in an unconventional way, both in our products and the way we communicate. We are proud to be two female founders and entrepreneurs, trust me it has been a struggle to be taken seriously, but this only fuelled our fires. This prize will help us a lot in making an even more positive contribution to the fashion industry”. - Catherine Saks and Barbara Potts, founders of SAKS POTTS

The three finalists — Forza Collective, Heliot Emil and Saks Potts — presented their collections and business strategy to an international jury of industry experts holding a diverse range of experience and specialisms across the board. Each of the finalists were praised for their design talent, sustainable vision, innovation, creativity, and business entrepreneurship — all of which were included as criteria in the jury’s decision for this year's winner.

  • “What I look for in a brand or what attracts me about a brand is a feeling. Saks Potts gives me a nice feeling. I would like to see people - our customers and community wearing their pieces. They create positive fashion and that is what we need. It’s fashion, it’s dreams, it’s creativity, and todays’ vote was exactly for that. Creation needs to come from the heart. Saks Potts has survived ten years while constantly renewing themselves and remaining relevant. I’m excited to see how winning the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize can help push them even further in the right direction”. - Yasin Müjdeci, Founder of Voo Store, Berlin & jury member

  • “As the founder of the Wessel and Vett Fashion Prize, I'm delighted with our expansion, welcoming established brands alongside emerging designers. This reflects our commitment to recognizing not just talent but the potential to shape global fashion. Our mission is clear — empowering the next generation of Danish fashion entrepreneurs. This year's winner, Saks Potts, demonstrates remarkable growth with a clear vision of every business aspect. Saks Potts possesses the essential skills for success in today's fashion world." - Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, founder of The Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize and board member of The Wessel & Vett Foundation

  • All of the designers that presented as part of the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize today have been almost incomparable, all presenting incredibly strong potential and resonance within their respective brands, but the winner selected today was truly representative of Danish fashion. Saks Potts has flourished with their signature aesthetic and global community, reflecting the pillars of entrepreneurship, fashion innovation and creativity. They have put their brand and Danish fashion on the map for the last decade. This is a big achievement that deserves recognition and celebration, but also an obligation to push themselves in sustainability and inspire new industry standards”. - Cecilie Thorsmark, CEO Copenhagen Fashion Week

2023 finalists

  • Forza Collective

    The brand that bridges couture and ready-to-wear, crafting timeless luxury attire with a blend of couture finesse, work wear utility, and modern contours. The textiles, exclusively conceived by Limonta in Italy, tout an environmentally conscientious lifecycle, entirely eco-friendly. Designed in Copenhagen, their production unfolds in Portugal, underpinning a tripartite sustainability commitment encompassing 'Product,' 'Supplier,' and 'Operational' domains. FORZA COLLECTIVE, a self-governing assembly of visionaries, passionately strives to produce lasting creations, embracing the responsibility of providing beloved items of timeless charm.

  • Heliot Emil

    A sensation in Ready-To-Wear fashion Copenhagen’s Juul brothers, Julius and Victor. Experimenting with form and function, HELIOT EMIL challenges the creative industry with a subversive Scandinavian and monochromatic style, custom materials and high attention to detail. Designer Julius Juul explores thought-provoking themes and creative expression in every collection, defining Heliot Emil with ‘industrial elegance’ He innovates by combining hardcore industrial elements with refined elegance, creating a harmonious contrast in design, sound and vision. The brand was founded in 2017 by Victor and Julius Juul. Victor handles the business and commercial side, while Julius leads the creative and design side. HELIOT EMIL presents 6 collections a year in Milan, Paris, Shanghai and New York, with 2 runway shows at Paris Fashion Week. The collections are sold in 150+ top retailers worldwide. The brand plans to open its own permanent and popup locations in Copenhagen, Paris, Seoul and Shenzhen by 2025.

  • Saks Potts

    SAKS POTTS emerged in 2014 under the creative duo of Cathrine Saks and Barbara Potts, proudly based in Copenhagen. Infused with Danish allure and cultural finesse, the brand's designs celebrate modern womanhood with an echo of 90s minimalism. Cathrine's expertise within fashion design and tailoring meet Barbara's art history background, resulting in empowering collections that exude grace and sophistication. Each piece reflects their deep connection to Copenhagen's vibrant tapestry of culture and culinary delights, while nature retreats in Denmark inspire their enchanting creations rooted in craftsmanship and the longevity of every design, ensuring an enduring appeal that stands the test of time.

The Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize

Entering a new decade with focus on the next generation of Danish fashion entrepreneurs

Following the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize last year - which was marked with a retrospective exhibition at the Magasin du Nord Museum - its entrance into a new decade has led to reflection and to a strategic realignment. The result of which is the 2023 edition focusing on more established brands and experienced designers. A decision that reflects the core values of the founders of the Foundation - Theodor Wessel and Emil Vett - upon which the Prize was created: Entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity, as well as its constant work for fostering sustainable brands and a responsible fashion industry.

“The Wessel and Vett Fashion Prize has always been unique in Denmark, and starting this year we are opening entry to more established brands alongside up-and-coming designers. The change reflects our longstanding focus on identifying designers with not only talent to burn, but also the commercial potential to build a global fashion business. Our ambition is, more than ever, to support the next generation of Danish fashion entrepreneurs,” says Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, founder of the prize event and board member of the Wessel and Vett Foundation.” - Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, founder, Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize

The Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize is the most prestigious and influential fashion prize in the Nordic region. It is supported by Crown Princess Mary as well as top international fashion brands and creatives, and over the past decade prizes and mentorships have been awarded to particularly talented designers including Anne Sofie Madsen, Emilie Helmstedt and Amalie Roege Hove, who have gone on to become some of the strongest fashion names in the Nordic region.

The finalists are selected by a panel of experienced industry experts, and will, at the final in October, present their brand and business strategy. The prizes are sponsored by the Wessel & Vett Foundation and the winner receives a cash prize of 300.000 DKK (€40.000).

The Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize is proud to continue to further strengthen its ongoing collaboration with Copenhagen Fashion Week. The winner will receive support from Copenhagen Fashion Week including extensive communication, and inclusion in all Copenhagen Fashion Week official activities and opportunities, for the equivalent of 250.000 DKK (€33.500).

The winner will be announced by Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg, Founder of the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize at an award ceremony, which will take place in October 2023 in Copenhagen.

About the Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize

The Wessel & Vett Fashion Prize is Scandinavia’s most prestigious independent award for fashion design. The Prize was established by the Wessel & Vett Foundation in 2012 as an expression of its core values: entrepreneurship and creativity. The Prize reflects the Foundation’s commitment to nurturing Danish design talent and building on the heritage of Magasin du Nord as a historical fashion institution.

About the Wessel & Vett Fashion Foundation

The Wessel & Vett Foundation was created by the descendants of the department store Magasin du Nord’s founders, Theodor Wessel and Emil Vett. The foundation is incorporated and independent of Magasin du Nord, but primarily supports activities related to the department store, its history, and descendants.