ITS News - Discover more about the International Talent Support competition

One year later - Chapter One

Last July we presented the fourteenth generation of ITS talents to the world. ITS 2015 is over, we are already looking ahead and beginning to focus on next year... but what about the winners in 2014, what has happened in their lives over one year later? We’ve never been able to select talents, bring them to the finals in Trieste, assign the awards and then just send them home. You very well know about the ITS Family spirit and that’s exactly what this is about: staying in touch, or trying to do so. So again, what about the ITS 2014 winners? It's a long story so we'll split it in two. This is chapter 1.

Katherine Roberts-Wood, winner of Fashion Collection of the Year, spent most of her year getting ready to amaze us once again at ITS 2015 with her new collection, since that was part of her award together with the opportunity of joining the fashion jury. And amaze is what she did, for sure. Her SS16 not only caught the attention of the ITS guests but received the Merit Award by Fashion Scout in London, which granted her the possibility to have a fashion show during London Fashion Week (another stunning show which you can see here as well as present it during Paris Fashion Week at the Fashion Scout showroom.

Zoe Waters arrived at ITS 2014 freshly graduated from the Royal College of Art MA course with her “Obnoxious” collection based on re-interpreting the classic leather biker jacket. She couldn’t but capture the attention of Nicola Formichetti who granted her the Diesel Award which saw her fly to the headquarters in Breganze, Italy for a 6-month internship. Working side by side with the Diesel creative team and learning all the steps of the process in such a huge company operating worldwide was an incredibly formative experience and currently Zoe is planning a label of her own with the hope to launch it in 2016.

Anita Hirlekar won the Fashion Special Prize hands down with her unique textile designs. Arriving at ITS already with a few important work experiences on her back (Bulgari, Ashish and Diane Von Furstenberg) Anita is focusing on her own fashion line right now. She was just selected by Fashion Scout among the “Ones to Watch” at London Fashion Week, which granted her a catwalk show for her SS16 collection. Evolving from her ITS collection, the SS16 declines her signature textile designs in new ways and most importantly in new shapes.

Natalja Mencej was the winner of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Award in 2014, exploring a subculture we had never heard of: Dekotora trucks. Basically, Japanese truck drivers who spend their entire lives decorating their trucks in the wildest and most sparkling ways one can imagine. This resulted in the Ukraine-born designer developing a wide variety of treatments on fabric for her collection, which was dense with technique experimentation. Following ITS it won her the attention of Trussardi, that hired her for a work experience in Milan.

Yasuto Kimura literally stunned us with his menswear re-inventing traditional tailoring while paying a tribute to the hard-working Japanese commuters. Poetry, elegance and a powerful message were all in his work and jurors Nick Knight and Marie Schuller could not but grant him with the SHOWstudio Award. Yasuto went back to Japan to design for Abahouse International, a company designing, manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing men's and women's garments, shoes and accessories for the Japanese market through its several brands. And his fashion film with SHOWstudio (resulting from his award) is scheduled for March 2016.

What might have appeared as an almost classic knitwear menswear collection was undoubtedly not so, and it granted finalist Anna Bornhold the 2014 Modateca Deanna Award. Romantic and at the same time always ironic, Anna's work is at times a fairy tale as well as a totally wearable and contemporary take on menswear. But she can very easily switch to womenswear too, with outstanding results. After being revealed at ITS she began working on a new collection in November 2014 and enrolled in the 30th Hyères Festival, where her womenswear won her the Chloé Award. Following this she was allowed to exhibit her work in July 2015 during Berlin Fashion Week and again lately, on September 30th, during the SS16 Paris Fashion Week. Anna is gifted with impressive technical abilities and we have no doubt this is only the beginning.

The Accessories Collection of the Year winner Mirja Pitkaart had what we can certainly describe as an amazing 2014. Already during her ITS application process she had been invited in Paris for an internship at Louis Vuitton which soon turned into a position as junior designer at the leather goods department. Right after ITS she was nominated for the SÄSI Young Designer Award at the Estonian Design Awards and also awarded the Mini-Kaamos Estonian accessory designer scholarship. She exhibited her collection at the Modamont exhibition space in Paris, in an exhibition during the Estonian Design Awards and in the Estonian Design and Applied Arts museum during the Mini-Kaamos exhibition, both in Tallinn, Estonia. ITS brought many interviews and features in magazines, and also the chance to work on a new collection thanks to the prize money, which was presented this year, while Mirja sat in the ITS ACCESSORIES Jury.

Keep an eye out for chapter 2, coming soon!