Hosted by Synergy Events, Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge is an exciting and inspired competition which came to London at the end of last week. Still in its infancy- 2013 being only its 2nd year running- the event was one of the most eagerly anticipated of this year’s London Fashion Week.
The idea behind the event is to give up and coming designers from across the globe an opportunity to showcase their collections to an audience of buyers, sponsors, press and media. For many aspiring designers the main obstacle is money. Regardless of how creative, imaginative and innovative your designs may be; without the finances to fund manufacturing, materials and labour it is excruciatingly difficult to make a name for yourself, even more so in the recent economic climate.
Therefore for the elite group of talented individuals, all sharing the dream of launching their own business, the show is without a doubt a once in a life time opportunity. Hailing from various backgrounds, the artists each bring something equally original to the table. Many, such as Priti Bali-Khan of Priti by Design, pursued other career paths before embarking on their fashion dreams. Priti worked in research for social sciences, and has lived between India and the States. Similarly, Nina Athanasiou opened a bar and raised two children before returning to her love for fashion, first ignited when she was a student of fashion design. The fact that these two women, and the majority of the other designers involved, have travelled a journey and lived ‘normal’ lives before pursuing their fashion dreams renders their collections fresh, relatable and most of all wearable. Athanasiou’s life before Emerging Trends has also installed her with a delightful stubbornness not to cave to the pressures of the fashion industry, she explains: “(designers) Can’t let the pressures of the industry discourage them or be influenced by others. They must never lose their creative passion and stay true to their design aesthetic” For the talented individuals involved in this year’s show, their designs were more than a business, they were an expression of their pasts and their varying heritages; their experiences install a vital confidence and self-assuredness in their designs.
The judges were too, true fashion devotees: Thierry Bayle, Barry Laden and Ben Muis all holding at least 20 years industry experience under their belts know how hard it is to make a name for yourself in the fashion world, truly appreciate the efforts put in to each designer’s collection and the life changing prize at stake.
The prize consists of an exclusive $10,000 marketing package, including an opportunity for the winner to showcase their full line at either Western Canada Fashion Week, San Diego Fashion Week or Boston Fashion Week, free of charge in the Fall 2013. This sum, exposure as well as the private mentoring on offer by TFB Agency will undoubtedly rocket the 1st place candidate into the fashion sphere.