Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Back in February I wrote a piece for this blog on Hakaan, solving the mystery of who this unfamiliar name was that had cropped up on the London Fashion Week schedule. (Click the link, there are some great pictures!)

Writing "I made a couple of calls and discovered that he is a 39 year old Istanbul based designer, who won a major Turkish fashion competition. This earned him the attention of Mert Alas, one half of Matt & Marcus the photographic duo who shoot half of the worlds fashion campaigns."

The show was a success, attracting Kate Moss and Carine Roitfeld to the front row, and models included Natasha Vodianova, Anje Rubik, Lara Stone and Natasha Poly. Next Harvey Nichols signed Hakaan on an exclusive one-season deal, and to top off the designer's brilliant year today it has been announced that he has won ANDAM. For a young designer this is like winning the lottery !!

With a purse of E200,000, the ANDAM fashion grant is one of the biggest in the world. Chaired by Pierre Bergé, directed by Nathalie Dufour and backed by the Ministry of Culture and the DEFI, ANDAM has been identifying and promoting the most promising talents in contemporary fashion, in the process contributing to the vitality and international prestige of the Paris fashion scene for over 20 years.

It means we will lose Hakaan to the Paris schedule, which is a shame for us, but great for him, and also puts Istanbul on the fashion map. The iconic 90s designer Rifat Ozbek lives there full time, and now he has a fashion buddy. Go Hakaan!

Now I REALLY hope I run into him this weekend in Istanbul at the Istancool event organised by the amazing Liberatum organisation. It promises to be mindblowing, and I will be reporting direct from the event Friday through Sunday, and cannot wait! The program is totally inspiring.

The five designers who lost out are
Alexandre Vauthier, Francesco Scognamiglio, Bouchra Jarrar, Calla Haynes and Mark Fast

For more on the Andam Award 2010 finalists see Fashion Windows

Photo: Cuneyt Akeroglu/Grazia Daily