May 04, 2014

4 days of hard work going through an impressive amount of projects led to the New Generation of ITS Talents, adding 40 creative souls to our already wide ITS FAMILY. As most of you know by now, the communicational theme of ITS 2014 is “Lucid Dreams” and the works of the finalists of ITS are a true representation of all this: they are the result of a controlled drift, a discipline that knows how to tap into the deepest dreams and translate them into weighted creation. On 11 and 12 July we will be taken to a place where, it is appropriate to say, the dreams of the 40 finalists will become reality.

ITS2013 finalists

But before we go through the 4 lists, here is a message from Barbara in regards to this year’s selection:
If I look back, I realise I have viewed over 13,000 portfolios by now. From Argentina to Zimbabwe, all of you young creative talents gave me the privilege to try to understand what happens in the world of creativity. Most importantly, you offered me one of the most exciting moments in my existence: the opportunity to dive into your dreams. And you have never ceased to surprise me. You are the fuel I need to keep my passion going, to keep me wanting to hunt you down and support you by organising yet another ITS.

Narrowing down hundreds of project to 10 finalists for each competition field is a crazy mission and as I always say a different jury - 4 different juries this year - would have most probably reached another verdict. What I can say is that this year, for fashion, they have selected only the projects: they had no indication of who was the candidate behind the project they viewed, nor their school or nationality. We wanted them to focus just on the creativity, nothing else. The material in the portfolio is what counts: photos, fabrics, samples, sketches are therefore essential and where these lack it is impossible for the jury to evaluate. Moreover, the strength of the finalists was highlighted by a unanimity in the vote of the jurors. 

Again, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for sending me your dreams. Even if just a handful of you will come to Trieste for the Finals in July, you are now all part of the ITS CREATIVE ARCHIVE, forever. And we will do our best to support not just the finalists, but everybody. Personally, I hate the ITS selections in a way, because I am forced to renounce a number of you, and some of my favourite projects always slip out of the selections…It feels like losing a limb as well as losing the opportunity of supporting you more. 

I can only say I do my best to help out as many of you as I can.

ITS2013 finalists

And now, ladies and gentlemen, here are the ITS 2014 finalists:


Leonie Barth (German)
Anna Bornhold (German)
Yasuto Kimura (Japanese)
Natalija Mencej (Slovenian)
Anita Hirlekar (Icelander)
Katherine Roberts-Wood (British)
Alexander Benekritis (British)
Zoe Waters (British)
Alison Tsai (Taiwanese)
Jae Woo Lee (South Korean)

ITS2013 finalists


Anuk Yosebashvili (Israeli)
Takafumi Arai (Japanese)
Ivana Damjanovic (Serbian)
Ian Waller (British)
Daniel Ramos Obregón (Colombian)
Mirja Pitkaart (Estonian)
Carolin Holzhuber (Austrian)
Rui Bao (Chinese)
Maiko Takeda (Japanese)
Olivia Hanson (British)

ITS2013 finalists


Virginia Burlina (Italian)
Jannike Sommar (Swedish)
Antti Peltoniemi (Finnish)
Anna Bornhold (German)
Katharina Baur (German)
Ryota Murakami (Japanese)
Chiaki Murakami (Japanese)
Noriko Nakazato (Japanese)
Shinji Tokuno (Japanese)
Takafumi Arai (Japanese)
Youmeng Liu (Chinese)

ITS2013 finalists


Chen Sahar (Israeli)
Lior Shulak (Israeli)
Noriko Nakazato (Japanese)
Rok Marinšek (Slovenian)
Olga Košica (Slovenian)
Niloufar Esfandiary (Swiss)
Stéphanie Van Zwam (French)
Francine Oeyen (Belgian)
Junko Kurihara (Japanese)
Annie Berner (Norwegian)
Beau Han Xu (Chinese)

ITS2013 finalists

Following are the comments of the selections jurors attending:


Overall, we have noticed an increase in the sophistication of the collections, which in some case turns into an excess of complexity. A more artistic approach to design, though less authentic, together with a blurred distinction between genders. A lot of three-dimensionality in materials, with the use of silicon, plastic and shiny technology.
Vladimiro Baldin - Creative Center Coordinator at Diesel

During the portfolio viewing, the secrecy on names, nationality and school of the contestants, was very helpful in avoiding any kind of potential prejudice the jury might have, but it was not enough to enable the jury to select a project by an Italian Designer…As an Italian (and not only for this reason), I felt a little sad about it…
Valentina Maggi - Director of Design Practice at Floriane de St. Pierre et Associés

This year the selection looks at odds with the ITS that we have known so far. Changes are always welcome. It will be very interesting to see a new lightness on the catwalk. Less drama and structures, more air and thoughtful carelessness. I’m satisfied with the chosen finalists.
Angelo Flaccavento - Independent Fashion Writer

It is always fascinating to see how the work of these talented designers are up-to-date never without a very creative attitude. This year theatricality is less present and gives space to more of a sober look. It’s absolutely not minimal, rather an accurate taste on details that in most cases becomes sartorial, turning into a modern way of seeing artisanal collections with an up-to-date and creative twist.
Sara Maino - Senior Editor Vogue Italia /


Always surprised to see the constant belief in creativity and quality. These talented designers demonstrate every time their total belief in their dreams and ideas with a concrete result whether you like it or not. They always have my respect.
Sara Maino - Senior Editor Vogue Italia /

I have noticed that the overall level has raised, both from a conceptual point of view as well as in the final realisation of the pieces. This allows students to narrow the gap between imagination and reality. We are therefore projected into an immediate future.
Isabella Zegrini - Christian Dior Haute Couture Accessories

Overall, looking at the portfolios my impression is that everything has become lighter and visually “healthier” this time. The standard is again remarkably high and I am absolutely satisfied with the final selection. The balance between the finalists’ items is good too and I am looking forward to seeing the final products in July.
Kei Kagami - Designer & Consultant YKK


My lucid diving deep into the creative portfolios of ITS2014 for the choice of the finalists of ITS ARTWORK has been a real “full immersion” in a world of energy, imagination, creativity, experimentation…and fun!
The power of some images, the unexpected use of materials, the connections between talents and ideas coming from very faraway parts of the world: they kept coming to me like a continuous wave of colours, touches, smells, words…my senses have been overwhelmed and I lived the “Lucid Dream” of imagining the outcome of the finalists works!
I have travelled back home full of inspiration – and dreaming about colourful and interesting handmade patchworks, pop and soft translucency, beautiful romantic creatures, new street languages. Dreaming of a new world – what more could I ask for?
Carlo Giordanetti - Creative Director SWATCH


We are overwhelmed by the vast amount of international participation and creativity. We were deeply impressed by the passion and emotional involvement of all the young jewelry designers. The large variety and bandwidth of all the designs have been truly astonishing. Finally we would like to express our gratitude towards all the participating designers for all the enormous amount of work, time and love they have invested into the Swarovski project.
Ute Schumacher - Vice President Trend & Design Center Head Office Swarovski

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