ITS is a real endeavour, a challenge not to be taken lightly. Working in the team will reward you with what could potentially be the experience of your lifetime. Perhaps change you inside out. It will drain your energies right down to the last drop, shake you like a tree, question your resistance, your intelligence, shed light on emotive aspects of your inner self. We ourselves were seeds when we started, just like our finalists when we found them. They’ve germinated spreading their branches as much as we did ourselves. Thinking about it, deep inside, at the core, we’re not so different from the talents we’ve scouted. It has made the building of the ITS Family a very natural process.
The first time we thought of identifying a ITS edition with a communication concept was in 2004. It happened somehow by chance. Watching Fellini’s movie “Otto e mezzo” we listened to the following line: “Could you abandon everything and start over again? Choose just one thing and be faithful to that and that alone? Make it the sole reason for living, the one thing that completes everything and becomes everything, because your devotion is boundless... could you?” We printed that line on the cover of the ITS#THREE catalogue. A mantra for our finalists. In retrospect, for ourselves.
Such level of commitment paid off on both sides. We’re watching our finalists mature and grow as time goes by, literally shaping the future of fashion design and receiving deserved recognition for their talent. And as far as we are concerned, many throughout these years have recognised our hard work with simple words of appreciation which have given additional meaning to what we did. Messages, notes, letters, emails... it’s time to share a few with all of you.
" Pleasure and enthusiasm in fashion is dead, but here we find it."
" Thank you so much for including me in ITS#THREE.
I had a great time. I was amazed by the organisation. Everything was perfect.
I thank you for taking such good care of me while I was in Trieste."
" Congratulations on yet another successful event.
I hope you are very, very proud. I had a great time.
Thank you for including me."
" From the remainder of our travels, we learnt so much about each other, and we wouldn’t have had such an opportunity without the support from ITS! We thank you so much..."
" Meeting all the finalists and ITS staff members has become a treasure for me.
I have just come back to Japan, but I already miss all of you."
" There’s just nothing else like it you know, all the other competitions are not like it."
" ITS in Trieste is a history of fashion evolution."
" We were expecting to see great talent in a really good atmosphere, and both expectations were met.
Just keep doing what you’re doing because it’s a unique festival."
" There’s so much talent here and I feel the world really needs to know about ITS.
Fashion needs a breath of fresh air and these young talents are bringing that."
" I was really blown away actually, I was really taken by the depth of research, the different techniques and the execution."
" It was fantastic to be there and to see and be part of the competition alongside seeing the archive and getting a sense of the unique collections that you hold. You and the ITS team are such an incredible force and your passion and dedication is remarkable!"
" Thank you for making so many of our dreams come true!
I look forward and best wishes for the next 15 years of ITS miracles!!"
" The future really is here, and I was just blown away by the level of quality, in terms of ideas and execution."
" For me ITS is an all-beautiful moment, a school, an exceptional point of view."
" Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Your words touched my heart and gave me the feeling of being understood in my work. Yesterday in the evening I was really sad and numb after I saw that I am not one of the finalist. I just wanted it so much! I was not able to let the feelings reaching my inner core until now. It was just too much. Your kind words helped me accepting it. The ITS award means a lot to me. When I watched the video clips and read the articles on your homepage I was immediately touched and knew that there is no better place to show my work than there. I really wanted to meet all this talented people who share the same sensitivity of looking at fashion in a more conscious way. It filled my heart with joy and hope to see that I was able to enroll for the ITS award. And I was full of hope (...). I wish you, the finalists and all the people who are supporting the ITS award a wonderful time in July and I am really grateful that there are people like you who try to support new talents. People like you inspire me to keep on following my dreams. Thank you!"
" Thank you very, very much for the lovely message - it really means a lot to hear you say that. You are an extremely kind person. I very much appreciate the selection and understand the subjectivity to the decisions made - that is after all, what a competition is about! I am very happy to even have sent my work and have it reviewed by such prestigious and creative individuals as yourself. The finalists chosen have fantastic work - I wish them all the best of luck and envy their exposure (...). THANK YOU so much again. It has been a pleasure working on this project for ITS, and honestly I think it all works out for the best in the end!"
" You have no idea what your words mean to me! I am very very grateful to have met you personally and I hope one day I can see you again so I can thank you for your hard work and inspiration."
" Thank you so much for your encouraging message. It really means a lot to me as I do feel a bit frustrated by the result. Yet it was such a great experience to participate in the competition, I had the opportunity to explore and develop myself, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support from International Talent Support. Thank you."
" Thanks so much for your words, they really mean everything to me. They encourage me to keep working without loosing my ideology. I believe that this kind of platforms are really important to build sense and to keep working on rethinking the current production processes to build a fairer industry. So, thank you for letting the entire world - not just a select number of countries - enroll on it. This contest is a big step to the democratization of fashion by recognising designers from over the world. Personally, it has been a unique opportunity to be heard and seen as a South American designer, given that I don't come from the most recognized fashion institutes and the industry is not developed as in the main fashion cities. Fashion is not an issue on the schedule of my country. Thanks again for your work for the future generations of designers. I believe that the future is collective, and designers should work on projects bigger than their own ego to really make the difference. And you are really doing that by supporting us."
We’ll leave you with one final message among the hundreds we received, an email from 2015 finalist Jenifer Burdet. It explains the most profound sense of what we’ve been trying to do for 15 years:
" Dear Barbara, and all the ITS team,
One year ago I had the best 48 hours of my young life :-)!
Around 11am I received a call which told me that I was one of the ten finalists of ITS 2015!
You can imagine what happen in my head...
24 hours later I discover my new beautiful daughter!
I decided to write to you today just to tell you: Thank you so so so much!
Thank you for giving me a chance to start as a designer!
Thank you for believing in me and in my project even if I had become a mother
(a lot of people think that it’s not possible to be both, but it's false)!
And thank you for all the great job you do!
You need to know that you change in positive ways all of the lives you cross!
In a world where many things aren’t working, never forget that you made my Utopia real in 48 hours!"
Never be afraid of the outcome of your actions
Never fear the strength of your will
Don’t be afraid to feel
Don’t be afraid of fear
Don’t be afraid to believe
Life screams and rips
Be it 5 seconds, or 5 minutes
It’s stolen, conquered, proclaimed happiness
It’s the hope that everything is still possible
In spite of ourselves