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ITS Contest announces 2022 finalists

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: ITS Contest 2022
The International Talent Support (ITS) contest for young designers, which takes place in Trieste, Italy, has selected the finalists for the 20th edition of the competition.

An international jury, including the competition’s founder Barbara Franchin, whittled down hundreds of applicants from fashion and design schools around the world to select 24 finalists, representing 14 different nationalities across the 12 fashion and accessories awards.

Each of the applicants were asked to produce a collection that celebrates the 20-year journey of the contest under the theme ‘The Art of Creativity,’ which the jury said resulted in projects showcasing dreams to improve the world, touching narratives and nostalgic family memories, and gender fluidity.

Image: Charlie Constantinou

There are 12 finalists in the fashion field from 11 countries, including British menswear designer Charlie Constantinou from Central Saint Martins’ MA Fashion Class of 2022, alongside designers from Japan, Spain, Austria, Finland, Belgium, Slovakia, Sweden, Romania, Germany and Taiwan.

Constantinou is joined by Parsons graduate Asato Kitamura from Japan, Spanish designer Brais Albor from Central Saint Martins, Taiwanese-born Ching-Lin Chen who graduated from Antwerp Fashion MA, Austrian designer Eva Heugenhauser currently studying at Parsons, and Finnish womenswear designer Hanna-Lotta Hanhela, a graduate from Aalto University.

The other contenders include Belgian womenswear designer Lili Schreiber, Central Saint Martins graduate Martina Durikovicova from Slovakia, Swedish-born Petra Fagerström, who is currently undertaking a BFA fashion at Parsons Paris, Central Saint Martins graduate Rafaela Pestritu from Romania and German designer Tatjana Haupt, a graduate from Institut Francais de la Mode.

This year there is also a team entry from Japanese designers Yudai and Anna Tanaka.

International Talent Support announces 2022 finalists and a return to a physical showcase in September

Image: Ruby Mellish

Three projects were selected in the accessories field, with British jewellery designer Ruby Mellish up against Italian accessories designer Marco Anzil and bag designer Victor Salinier from France.

Italian brand Lotto selected three designers for the ITS Sportswear Award, British designers Charlie Constantinou and Edward Mendoza, and Chinese designer Hin Fung Jesse Lee. The finalists will be challenged with a sneaker project to be in with a chance of winning 3,000 euros.

While the Swatch Art Peace Hotel selected British designers Edward Mendoza and James Walsh, Martina Durikovicova from Slovakia, Japanese designers Takehiro Mabuchi and Yudai and Anna Tanaka, as well as Tatjana Haupt from Germany. The winner of the ITS Artwork Award will win 10,000 euros.

Image: Yudai and Anna Tanaka

Awards this year also include the ITS Academy Award, which will present the winner with 15,000 euros and a 6-month mentorship by Pitti Immagine Tutoring and Consulting Direction, and the OTB Award, where the winner will receive 10,000 euros. Other awards highlight footwear, responsible creativity, fashion film, digital fashion, and best portfolio.

The finalists will showcase their collections during the ITS Contest in Trieste from September 9 to 10. This year’s event marks the return of the traditional physical format after two Covid-struck years and will also feature the finalists from the 2020 and 2021 editions who were not able to attend due to the pandemic.

The winners will be chosen by an international jury, including Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia, who was an ITS winner in 2004, alongside Daphne Guinness, singer Roisin Murphy, and the David di Donatello-award winning costume designer Massimiliano Cantini Parrini.

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