Friday, September 13, 2013


As London Fashion Week began today, much of the buzz was about the “Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge 2013”, in which up and coming designers from around the world are competing for a $10,000 marketing package.

A design by contestant Hope Wade
The contest gives these designers a chance to showcase their talent to buyers, the fashion press and a range of sponsors. As part of the prize, the winner will have an “exclusive opportunity to showcase at a major Fashion Week show either in the USA, the United Kingdom or Dubai,” according to Synergy Events, the organizers.

The lucky designer will also be featured on “multiple global trade publications and introduced to multiple upscale boutiques in Europe”, Synergy added. The countries represented by the competitors include the United States, Jamaica, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates.

This is only the second Emerging Trends Challenge, after the inaugural contest last July in Paris, France, where five designers of women's apparel were judged on their creativity, practicality and ability to sustain the fast-moving fashion market. The winner of that Challenge was New York-trained designer Christine Manthey, who gains inspiration from her travels around the world. She and the event earned reams of attention in Paris.

Of course, competition - official or otherwise - is nothing new during Fashion Week, and top British designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith will be vying for a share of a very different kind of pie as the Week is expected to attract more than $160 million in orders.

Buyers will be spoilt for choice, with nearly 60 catwalk shows for spring/summer 2014 being held from now until Sept. 17 in a city known for its quirkiness and individuality in design.

The must-see shows, according to most fans, are those by shoe designer Magnolo Blahnik, making his debut at LFW by hosting a short film starring - what else - his shoes; Brazilian-born Barbara Casasola (see earlier Tasshon article); and relative newcomer Thomas Tait. - J.M. De Clercq