ITS emerging designer competition to be held again in 2018

The ITS (International Talent Support) competition for emerging fashion designers took a year off in 2017, but it is back again this year with a new formula. Usually held in Trieste, Italy, in mid-July, the competition was not staged last year due to lack of funds, but it has now managed to tap new resources and is ready to go again, backed by the leading bodies of Italian fashion: from the national Fashion Chamber (CNMI) to Pitti Immagine, the Florentine show organiser, to Altaroma, the organisation which runs the Rome haute couture week.


ITS emphasises courage this year with its slogan - itsweb.org

"ITS will develop a special project with each of these institutions, to be announced shortly," Barbara Franchin, the event's founder, told FashionNetwork. "The idea is that, once we identify new talents, we help them, and make sure that they remain within the Italian fashion system," she added. The kind of support which can be provided via fashion weeks and similar events.

"Our mission, to seek for creativity all around the world, has not changed. Instead, it is fashion that is changing, an industry in full upheaval and in search of an identity. Nowadays, the fashion spectrum spans from Amazon, which creates collections using algorithms, to the increasing influence of haute couture. Faced with such a wide divergence, young designers give us their vision and their solutions, with the means at their disposal," said Franchin.

Since 2000, ITS has shone the spotlight on a plethora of fashion talent, including the current creative director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia. The competition has now been revamped with a new formula. The date has been brought forward, to 26th-27th June. It will still be held in Trieste, but in a new venue, the Magazzino 42, a former warehouse in the town's maritime port.

Instead of the previous four competitions, only two will be staged this year. The fashion, accessories and jewellery competitions have become a single one, with a far less rigid distinction between the categories. The finalists, ten for each category, will vie for the ITS Prize, worth €15,000, and for the OTB Prize, worth €10,000, plus the possibility of an internship at one of the labels owned by Renzo Rosso's fashion group, a long-standing partner of the event.

The other prize, ITS Artwork, was and is still dedicated to pure creativity. It is again sponsored by Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch, which confirmed its support. This prize is worth €10,000, plus a six-month paid internship at the Swatch LAB in Zurich.

"ITS isn't just a competition. Once the contest is over, we support all of our finalists in their careers, striving to put them in touch with fashion labels. Each year we publish a trend report and, above all, we have created a significant archive, which we wish to transform into a foundation, with an educational facility attached to it," concluded Barbara Franchin.

Applications are open until 21st March, and the candidates' submissions must be completed before 16th April. The finalists will be picked at the end of April.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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