Aside from giving finalists a chance to brag about their accomplishments, fashion design competitions offer growing labels numerous opportunities to propel their commercial success. Because even though only winners receive cash prizes and support with producing and distributing their collections, all the contestants benefit from increased media exposure, mentorship from seasoned industry professionals, and participation in runway shows held as part of major fashion events.
So if you have never taken part in any designer contests, consider trying it. Here are some of the most prestigious and renowned among them.
First presented in 1989, the ANDAM Award counts Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, and Christophe Lemaire among its past winners. A hefty cash prize (€230,000 in 2012), worldwide visibility, support from Saint Laurent, LVMH, Swarovski and other fashion market giants combined with an invaluable chance to show at Paris Fashion Week make this accolade incredibly desirable. And though ANDAM Award initially limited the pool of participants to designers working in France, the competition has been open to submissions from other countries since 2005.
Organized by EVE in collaboration with Diesel, YKK, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS and other major industry players, the ITS FASHION COMPETITION has been rewarding exceptional sartorial talents in three categories – Fashion, Accessories and Jewelry – for 13 years now. Mark Fast and Peter Pilotto are some of the first designers that have won the coveted distinction.
A panel of revered experts, including Renzo Rosso (Founder and President of Diesel), Sara Maino (Fashion Editor of Vogue Italia and Vogue.it), Isabella Zegrini (of Christian Dior Haute Couture Accessories), and Ute Schumacher (Vice President of Trend & Design at SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS), determine who receives recognition for the Fashion Collection of the Year and gets €15,000 to develop and present their collection. A sought-after Diesel Award (a €25,000 cash prize and an internship at the company HQ), Vogue Talents Award, Yoox.com Prize, Eyes on Talents Award and other enticing incentives are also at stake.
This prestigious contest was first held in 1954, when Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent won the award. Today regional finalists representing Asia, Australia, Europe, USA and other parts of the world demonstrate ingenuity in the creative use of Merino wool to receive not just a highly coveted industry distinction, but also a $100,000 cash prize on top of distribution deals with Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, Joyce, David Jones and My Theresa.
The fashion competition, held as part of the Hyères International Festival of Fashion & Photography, traces its history back to 1985, and offers young designers financial and logistical support, abundant networking opportunities and extensive media exposure. Judged by such industry legends as Helmut Lang, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Azzedine Alaïa, Christian Lacroix, Dries van Noten, Raf Simons, and Yohji Yamamoto, the shortlisted designers compete for the L’Oréal Professionnel Jury Grand Prize (€15,000), the Première Vision Prize (€10,000), the Chloé Prize, and the Public Prize of the City of Hyères. Viktor & Rolf, Gaspard Yurkievich, Sébastien Meunier, Christian Wijnants and other renowned fashion names are among Hyères former winners.
With Suzy Menkes, Humberto Leon, Dylan Jones, and other famous fashion personalities, writers and buyers in attendance, Fashion Scout’s showcases in London and Paris have served as a launch pad for Fyodor Golan’s, David Koma’s, Eudon Choi’s and other successful designers’ careers.
The Fashion Scout Merit Award (£25,000 over three seasons) and Ones to Watch event help sartorial talents from around the world receive global critical acclaim. And with the newly created platform in Kyiv, Fashion Scout is aiming to become more accessible to Eastern European brands.