French trade show Who’s Next Paris has unveiled the 10 winners of its graduate competition, who will showcase their designs at next week’s event.
The competition, held in conjunction with Arts Thread and WGSN, offers a launch pad for emerging designers in the fashion and accessories industry. They will exhibit their collections at Who’s Next Paris, which runs from January 19-22.
The jury was made up of industry experts, including the design director for Karl Lagerfeld and Tommy Hilfiger Kristina Szasz, designer William Tempest, and Lane Crawford’s divisional merchandise manager David Wakely.
Fellow judge Olivia Richardson, head of womenswear at WGSN, said: “In judging these potential winners out of an overwhelming number of applicants, there were a few key factors we were looking for; skills which show them to be equipped and ready to launch their careers as designers: a distinct, authentic point of view; a keen awareness of, and focus on, the end consumer; and initiative in gaining early industry experience.
“This of course has to be layered on top of an outstanding design talent. Among the winners we saw a great balance of timeless with leading edge aesthetic, sophistication and embracing of femininity, great depth and detail to design, as well as a strong focus on function. All of our winners are truly deserving and I’m sure have bright futures ahead.”
Among the nine fashion winners was Japan-born and London-based Ichiro Suzuki, who combined classic bespoke tailoring with 3D and print designs.
British womenswear designer Chloe Reynolds experiments with pattern cutting and draws on nature for much of her inspiration.
Fellow Brit Stephanie Oliver fuses urban influences with traditional Balinese clothing, to create detailed prints in a vibrant colour palette.
Russian womenswear designer Olga Malyarova was taught to sew by her mother and is still a student at Saint Petersburg’s University of Technology and Design, creating show-stopping gowns.
Swedish menswear designer Bruno Kleist’s tailored collection plays with the idea of decay and transformation through his selection of colour and fabric.
Hong Kong-based Tak Shing Lee specialises in contemporary menswear, playing with traditional wardrobe concepts.
Belgian Anissa Aouar’s womenswear collection was inspired by iconic superwomen comic books, and is entitled “A Super Drunk Hero”.
Chinese designer Jessie Jie Liu, currently based in San Francisco, gave up a career in accounting to begin designing and recently graduated as a Master of Fine Art from the Academy of Art University.
Dutch menswear designer Evelien Van Pruissan takes her inspiration from childhood memories, blurring the lines between fashion and performance art.