ITS celebrates 15 years in style

International Talent Support (ITS), the competition for young designers in Trieste (northeast Italy), celebrated its 15th birthday this year. Behind this year's event, which is held annually in July, taking stock of the competition's history and the evolution of creativity over the last decade.


The ITS winners from 2002 to 2015 - ITS2016

Younger than the fashion Festival in Hyères, ITS has in 15 years become an unmissable event for global creativity and a great springboard for budding designers. Founded in 2002 by Fondée Barbara Franchin, who manages the competition through the group Eve, the event is totally independent and solely financed by sponsors.

Backed from the beginning by the founder of Diesel, Renzo Rosso, a longtime partner sponsoring the contest dedicated to fashion, ITS has been able to diversify. Ten years ago, it launched a category dedicated to accessories, thanks to a partnership established with Japanese group YKK. Then, five years ago, the competition made way for a jewellery category, with the support of Swarovski.

Adding to the three categories, the ITS Artwork prize was created in 2014, under the guise of a new partnership with Swatch.

"We searched for beauty and we found it, creating 15 years ago a space where creativity can express itself freely," explained Barbara Franchin, who gives back to her 'ITS family' all year, a network of 550 talents built over the years.

The patron of the competition has brought together an exceptional archive of the adventure through the 16 000 project applications to come to Trieste since 2002.

Barbara Franchin, centre, with some finalists from the 15th edition of ITS - ITS2016

« In 15 years, ITS has transformed itself into a kind of seismograph of creativity. We have, for example, registered a strong growth in the number of Chinese designers. There were 120 candidates this year compared to 12 at our first edition," explains Barbara Franchin, adding that no less than 18% of candidates come from English schools.

"Today, half of the participants have their own website compared to 1% in 2002. With an average age of 27, our community of young designers elected Alexander McQueen as their favourite designer over the last 15 years, followed by Maison Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Raf Simons and Comme des Garçons", she continued.

"Designers today have a healthier and more realistic approach. Their present is filled with the past and the future, looking to oversize silhouettes, big volumes, patchwork and hybrid constructions," concluded Barbara Franchin, announcing that a new project is underway, with the details to be revealed in the coming months. 

Dubbed ITS Made in Italy, the project will be developed in collaboration with institutions of Italian fashion Camera della Moda (CNMI), Alta Roma and Pitti Immagine, to give more visibility to the finalists of Trieste.

 

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