CREATIVE-BORN: The International Talent Support contest, also known as ITS, has named its 2023 finalists, as it gears up for an IRL award ceremony on March 22 in Trieste, Italy, the city off of fashion’s radar that has been home to the talent search for the past 21 years.
ITS said Wednesday it selected 16 emerging designers across fashion, accessories and jewelry among 750 applications from up-and-coming talents hailing from 65 countries. Applicants were tasked to submit collections and projects that embodied the “Born to Create” concept, such as the inherent human ability to create.
The list of finalists includes Chelsea Jean Lamm and Marcel Sommer from Germany; Clementine Baldo, Shanon Poupard and Lilian Navarro from France; Ju Bao and Kexuan Liu from China; Mert Serbest from Turkey; Momoka Sato and Tomohiro Shibuki from Japan; Richard Farbey from the U.K.; Silvia Acien Parrilla from Spain; Tal Maslavi from Israel; Daniel Bosco from Canada; Eun Ji Oh from Belgium, and Ivan Delogu from Italy.
“We are at a generational shift of imagery, of reference points. A new generation of designers is taking hold, and young talents are… charting different trajectories,” said Barbara Franchin, president of the ITS Foundation, which manages the contest and is the mastermind behind it. “Right now, fashion is experiencing a moment of great confusion and readjustment, with an ongoing redefinition of the role of the creative director,” she added.
The Franchin-led jury includes Moncler designer Sergio Zambon; stylist and fashion consultant Tom Eerebout; as well as Matteo Ward, chief executive officer and cofounder of sustainability-minded brand and platform Wråd; Thierry-Maxime Loriot, curator, writer and creative director, and Carlo Giordanetti, CEO of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, among others. More guest jurors will be added for the award ceremony next year.
Finalists will compete for a range of prizes including the 15,000-euro ITS Arcademy Award bestowed on the most creative, socially aware and innovative fashion collection, in addition to the ITS Media, Community, Fashion Film and Digital Fashion Awards, coming with a cash prize of 3,000 euros each.
Partners and sponsors of the ITS competition — which include Vogue Eyewear, EssilorLuxottica, the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Lotto Sport, Wråd, Fondazione Ferragamo, Pitti Immagine and Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, among others — will also hand out their own awards. A special award recognized by the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of 10,000 euros will also be offered in this edition, in celebration of Gorizia, a city in the region named the European Capital of Culture for 2025.
In addition to competing for the awards, all finalists will receive the ITS Residency Award, a new prize which gives talents the opportunity to take part in a collective project at the ITS Arcademy, the organization’s sprawling headquarters, archives and multifunctional space, replete with a “Museum of Art in Fashion,” announced in 2020 and eventually unveiled last year with a seminal exhibition by Olivier Saillard.
The ITS competition, which marked its 20th anniversary last year, has been a launchpad for marquee contemporary designers in the past including Bottega Veneta’s Matthieu Blazy and Balenciaga’s Demna, as well as London darling Richard Quinn and Iceberg’s James Long, among others.