ITS Creative Archive, A history of fashion evolution

The Cultural Association EVE - Creativity Research Lab created the Archive as the real home where creativity is generated, connecting what was created to what will be created, in an endless virtuous circle.

For 20 years, thousands of young talents from all over the world have been sharing their creativity with us. Since the very beginning, we have always been completely aware of the profound meaning of what we were receiving. We were not just dealing with projects, but with hundreds of different creative languages. We were holding seeds in our hands. Seeds of pure creativity, deserving a place to bloom and then to be called home.

Each one of them describes the struggle to translate thoughts and emotions into something tangible, using images and photos - or any other tool (a poem, a story, a book...) that inspired the concept - samples of fabrics and materials, sketches, and technical drawings. Even if it is the source of life itself, a seed needs care, nurturing support, and protection to be able to grow strong and to bloom. This is the reason why ITS Creative Archive came to life. We could not have done it any other way: looking at a portfolio is like stepping into someone's dreams. It deserves the deepest respect.
The Archive is an open laboratory on the future of creativity, allowing a conversation between design, industry, and innovation. From this idea it has grown, after 20 years, into a fully blown tree, constantly branching out to describe the infinite expressions of creativity. Our collection boasts 18,000 portfolios, over 240 outfits, 125 accessories, 86 jewellery pieces and more than 700 digital photography projects, from 80 different countries.

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Four internationally renowned fashion curators have a very clear opinion about the ITS Creative Archive:

" The ITS Creative Archive is a unique and valuable resource, because it contains looks from a range of international designers at the beginning of their careers. Works from a designer's earliest collections is incredibly rare, and of great interest both historically and in terms of providing inspiration to today's fashion students. The Archive deserves financial support from the fashion industry, in order to preserve and showcase a valuable resource. "

Valerie Steele
Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
September 14th, 2016

" The ITS archive is unique in that it holds work from multiple designers at the very start of their careers.
These early pieces are fueled by an unfettered creativity, not yet honed to the rigorous demands of a professional career, yet already, showing clear evidence of each designer’s unique signature.
To collect work at this stage in a designer’s career is a brave decision, will the designer succeed in their chosen career, will they become a celebrated talent or will they disappear from the world of design? The ITS archive is not particularly concerned with these speculative questions because it recognizes the value of capturing and recording a moment in fashion regardless of what the future may bring.
As such this archive has become a valuable record and barometer of young fashion talent in the 21st century. Happily, through the aptitude of the ITS team and their juries in identifying skilled participants, the archive is indeed full of early work by designers who have gone on to make great careers.
Browsing through the rails of the archive one comes across so many familiar names. It is intriguing to see these early pieces, most often painstakingly made by the hand of the designers themselves and to recognize the continued development and progression of certain themes or techniques in the designer’s later work.
These are the pieces that in retrospect are so hard to find. Graduate and early collections rarely survive intact, as young designers often lack the resources to house and store the items at this transitional and tumultuous point in their lives.
For these reasons the ITS archive is a unique and intriguing collection which holds much value for current and future researchers interested in the disciplines of design education and the world of fashion. "

Oriole Cullen
Acting Senior Curator of Contemporary Fashion, Victoria & Albert Museum
November 16th, 2015

" The ITS Creative Archive holds a history of the recent past with fashion treasures for the future. Documenting the creative process of thousands of the most promising students in fashion, accessories, and jewellery design (15,000 at last count) from initial submissions portfolios to the finished designs of the winners, together with hundreds of digital photographic projects, the Archive is not only an encapsulation of the most prestigious jury competition of emerging designers, it is a documentation of the evolution of the most cutting-edge thinking and creation of the best new talents globally. Because it houses the work derived from an international canvassing of the most influential design programs and institutions, the ITS Archive captures in its modest space the most directional and inventive individuals poised at the beginning of their careers. There is no other archive that does this. Only the ITS Archive crosses all institutional and international boundaries through the most rigorous editing process by a jury of the most established and recognized talents in business, arts and design. "

Harold Koda
Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
December 4th, 2015

" I have been deeply impressed by the museum quality of this collection and by its numeral importance. One might think the archives of the several contestants ITS has been welcoming for years now are only the seeds of their creations to come or would only forecast the talent they will develop in the future. They would be wrong considering the maturity and achieved creativity of the pieces ITS is keeping there. It gives a unique panorama, over more than 13 years, of fashion creation in freedom - or pure Fashion creation - from contestants from every place and every cultural background throughout the world. Besides the clothes, I am also very attracted by the portfolios illustrating, each time a different way and with an almost infinite range of media, the genesis of each contestant’s collection. Many times I wanted to have them in my Graphic Arts Department at Galliera. Once again, the ITS archives are absolutely unique in the world and my only regret is they don’t have an exhibition hall to show them to a larger audience as they deserve! "

Laurent Cotta
Head of Graphic Arts Department, Musée Galliera
November 12th, 2015

All our treasures are neatly stored and displayed on the top floor of our building, where refurbished attic spaces host young fashion’s evolution through time. We must thank our beloved contestants for creating such a magical place. Sending us their exceptional portfolios, or giving us a piece of their work, must feel like giving away a piece of their heart, but it is thanks to their contributions that everyone can now witness the never ending growth of a wide and diverse biosphere of creativity, developed from seeds we carefully collected and protected.

Those seeds are now spreading out all over the world, either in the most renowned fashion houses, or through personal projects, as well as in the world of cinema, music and art. They are the past, the present and the future of ITS.

The ITS Creative Archive collaborates with some of the most important museums and it is open to international schools for visits.
Are you a passionate design student?
A fashion brand’s Head of Studio?
A journalist researching the evolution of creativity in the 2000s?
A tutor who is interested in seeing the progress of your school’s applications submitted to ITS throughout the years?
The ITS Creative Archive is where you belong.

If you are interested in high-res images, please check out our photo gallery.
If instead you are interested in organising an exhibition with pieces from our archive, please contact us at