The dream of every young designer? Having the opportunity to showcase their work to professionals who can provide support and possibly an opportunity - be it an internship or an actual job - to grow and gain experience. We can definitely say that ITS is that opportunity and certainly the OTB Award, as well as the DIESEL Award, are excellent examples of this philosophy.
The acronym OTB stands for "Only the Brave", the parent company of iconic fashion brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Paula Cademartori and Viktor&Rolf and state-of-the-art companies Staff International and Brave Kid. Discovering, supporting and fostering creativity is at the core of OTB, which is why it has supported ITS since the very beginning. During our 16-year history so many finalists were spotted by heads of studios from their brands and have been offered internships and job positions. The list is a pretty long one and includes Kaat de Groef, designer bijoux at Maison Margiela, Elina Maattanen, who is in Margiela as well working as fashion designer. Also Demna Gvasalia, who needs no introduction, worked at Margiela as well as Ichiro Suzuki. There's former Viktor & Rolf designers Erik Jan Frenken and Nadine Moellenkamp , Kevin Kramp who worked several years both at DIESEL and at Staff International... And about a dozen finalists who interned at Diesel for several months developing a capsule collection which was then distributed and sold worldwide. Pretty cool, right?
OTB President Renzo Rosso can certainly be defined as the father of ITS, since we see ourselves as the "mother". Without him ITS would have quite probably remained a dream. His ongoing commitment to support young creativity has always been part of the DNA of his companies. This is the man you need to thank for believing in young talents so much, providing them with a voice. And this year the awards have doubled. It used to be either the OTB Award or the DIESEL Award, but this time we are going to offer both at the same time, for two very lucky finalists.
The OTB Award Winner - chosen among the fashion and accessories finalists - will receive €10,000 and could have the opportunity to intern in one of the group's brands (except Diesel... and for obvious reasons, since there's a dedicated prize for it), with a monthly reimbursement, and travel & accommodation expenses covered.
The Diesel Award Winner instead - this time chosen among the fashion finalists exclusively - will be offered a 6-month internship at DIESEL with a monthly reimbursement and travel & accommodation expenses included.
Wonder what this kind of experience would be like? Let's give you two examples.
Xiao Li won the DIESEL Award in 2013 and during her internship she was offered the opportunity to develop & produce an entire capsule collection of seven pieces, which was launched & sold internationally in 10 Corso Como stores worldwide. It was an incredible boost for Xiao's career which put her on the map even more. Today she sells her collections in other top-level concept stores like Corso Como, from Dover Street Market to H-Lorenzo, and presents her work during London Fashion Week every season.
More recently at ITS 2015, finalist Yuko Koike won the OTB Award which also resulted in a terrific capsule collection inspired by her ITS collection. We dedicated an entire article to this incredible opportunity which you can read here. The capsule collection she developed, produced by Diesel, celebrated 30 years of Diesel in Japan and was presented in large window displays at Isetan Shinjuku department stores. It was also presented on the catwalk, within the Diesel AW2017 fashion show in Tokyo.
In terms of opportunity, this is just pure gold for a young talent at the start of their career. In can literally change everything. So, who is going to be the next one to be offered a life-changing experience?