The Swiss Textiles Award is not the richest fashion design prize available -- the 300,000 euro prize from Mango takes that category. But, over the past 5 years it has emerged as perhaps the most influential award of its kind, and the only one to operate with a global remit.
In 2003, a little-known Belgian designer named Raf Simons won the prize and went on to wow fashion critics, who were now playing close attention to his work. Cathy Horyn had this to say of his Simons' men's 2005 Spring/Summer collection, shown in Paris in July 2004:
What Mr. Simons did in an instant was to render the day, and most of the previous one of the spring men's collections, obsolete. In 18 years of reporting on fashion, the last 5 at this post, I have stood up from only a handful of shows with a conviction that everything had been transformed.