The Future of Fashion Programme – Step 2 Winners!

The first phase of The Future of Fashion Program has ended and the winners have been announced!

The Future of Fashion is a collaboration between Who’s Next and Not Just a Label to coach 20 selected designers from all over the world (10 accessory designers and 10 ready-to-wear designers) over the course of two years to launch their labels as real businesses.

20 designers exhibited at the Who’s Next trade show in Paris last month, and the mentors then had to make some tough decisions as only half the participants would be invited to continue with the programme.

The remaining ten designers will now start their monthly coaching now with the programme mentors. At the end of the July trade show from July 3rd-6th, their ranks will be cut down once again from ten designers to just six. Finally, these six will become two by January 2015! The two winners will be then rewarded with a fourth season at WHO’S NEXT in July 2015, the creation of a business plan worth €20,000 as well as extending their support with the programme expert partners by six months.

So, don’t miss these ten exciting fashion and accessories designers at the Who’s Next trade show in July:

DORA ABODI – HUNGARY

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Dora’s passion for drawing is in her genes. Born in Hungarian Transylvania to a family of artists, the designer moved to Milan to study at the Domus Academy. She created her eponymous brand in 2009 and was awarded the Designer of the Year Prize at the Hungarian Fashion Awards and Design am Rhein trophy of the Düsseldorf Fashion Academy. Her collections, sold in the Middle East and Japan, have already been featured in magazines such as Vogue UK and Vogue China. Her baroque futuristic graphic designs, adorned with embroideries and exotic leathers are fur-free certified and in line’s with fashion’s ethical concerns.

HANGER – UK
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Born in 1990, Claire Yurika is a London designer. After studying at the London Creative Arts, she founded her own brand of womenswear, Hanger, in 2013. Her minimalist and often monochrome designs stand out with their juxtapositions. Organic materials are combined with synthetic fabrics. Using traditional know-how, Hanger makes innovative and unique outfits in in bamboo silk, crepe or cotton that are individually hand-painted in London.

IOANA CIOLACU – UK
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Originally from Romania, Ioana studied at the London College of Fashion – University of Arts London before coming back to Bucharest. The designer was recently awarded the Designer for Tomorrow Prize under the patronage of Stella McCartney, and was one of the 25 finalists selected by Madame Figaro’s Carnet de Mode. Ioana Ciolacu manages to design structured and geometric outfits using flowing and diaphanous fabrics. The result: evanescent figures, half-way between street wear and Couture.

KELLY LOVE – UK
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After working for a Japanese artist during a stay in Osaka, Kelly went back to Australia, her native country, to study at the Raffles Institute of Design. The designer then moved to London where she successively worked for the couture brand Baccini & Hil and online womenswear giant Asos before launching her own brand, Kelly Love. These two radically different experiences gave her the opportunity to mix concept and ready-to-wear. Her Japanese experience made her especially sensitive to the importance of the concepts behind each piece of clothing. All her designs are made of Jacquard, wool, leather in Shenzhen, for affordable luxury products.

SNEHA ARORA – INDIA
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Sneha Arora’s collections are an invitation to time-travel. After graduating from Kolakata’s National Fashion Institute in India, Sneha founded her own brand in 2011. Her designs are universal tales and stories. Her androgynous figures, always retro and sometimes austere, often play with patterns and reflect the brand’s very strong personality. Sneha Arora’s latest collection played with the traditional army codes: Mao collars, gold buttonholes, khaki fabrics, calf-length skirts, but also long shirts, sometimes adorned with vintage photo printings.

LAMAT – SERBIA (Bags)
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Ivana is a young Belgrade-based Serbian designer. During her studies at the University of Decorative Arts, she showed a deep interest for sculpture and costumes, two fields which later inspired her in her designs, both graphic and theatrical. Lamat stands out immediately: each bag is made of monochrome leather, available in a very architectural and futuristic shape.

MICHAL TAHARLEV – ISRAEL (Jewels)
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Michal Taharlev collected old unused looms and opened his own weaving studio. His collection is a tribute to traditional weaving techniques. He has associated the fabrics with metal details, creating jewels that look like totems. Each item is hand-woven, all in one piece; and the designer thinks about them as a series rather than a collection. Colors change according to the materials used: copper, aluminum, steel, brass, tin… all the metals have kept their natural aspect, sometimes showing time-induced alterations.

PASIONAE – USA + ITALY + GERMANY (Jewels)
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New York-based PASIONAE is a contemporary label that uses fashion as an artistic means. The designs reflect an interesting use of colors, textures and volumes. The most cosmopolitan city, New York, is a major source of inspiration, shown through a both bold and spectacular diversity. Jewels are all hand-made according to a unique process: the various emerald pieces are associated with wood thanks to a silver link. Each piece is unique, and shows the sign of a dark “Pasionae”.

SALOMÉ CHARLY – FRANCE (Jewels)
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Salomé Charly designs jewels that convey a powerful feeling of warmth and strength. The wood is cut into geometrical shapes presented under its various aspects… reminiscent of the designer’s flamboyant hair. The first impression is followed by a feeling of surprise: the necklaces are incredibly light. Salomé, whose father was a cabinetmaker, knows everything about wood and especially cherry wood. Born in France, in the Loire region, she quickly chose the arts and graduated in Decorative Arts and Fashion design in Paris. Soon after, she launched her jewel collection, tightly connected to nature. Very comfortable working with vegetable or animal materials, the designer draws her inspiration from ethnic and antic jewels, from cabinetmaking techniques and object design. The “wooden stones” are hand-made and signed by the designer as a token of their authenticity.

VÄSKA – SPAIN (Bags)
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VäSka is a Barcelona-based brand. The designer chose a Swedish name for her brand,VäSka, meaning “bag”. Ann Sofi Storbacka, the designer of Finno-Swedish extraction, draws her inspiration from the North to design her collections but also favors a very Mediterranean sense of aesthetics.

In her tiny studio, she makes all the bags herself using the finest natural leathers and fabrics. The final result is a line of bags and accessories featuring minimalist and visually stunning pieces.

The jury who will supervise the competition are all experts in a wide variety of fields:
• Stefan Siegel, founder and Not Just a Label CEO
• Salman Khokar from Koka Consulting, a group in charge of developing fashion concepts
• Olivier Arrighi from Fidancia, international payment and insurance company specialised in Fashion
• Pauline Savin and Camille de Pontcharra from Lambert & Associates, Fashion consulting and purchasing office, specialised in brand development
• Sylvie Pourrat and Sophie Guyot, the managers of Accessories and Ready-to-wear at Who’s Next