ITS 2016 : Mayako Kano wins fashion design competi
It was a very open and vast competition at the recent 15th edition of ITS (International Talent Support), with 38 finalists hailing from 22 countries.
Founded in 2002 by Barbara Franchin, the competition for young designers took place in Trieste from July 15-16. It was particularly creative in the fashion category, given this year's 11 finalists.
The 38 ITS 2016 finalists in the fashion, art, jewellery, and accessories category - ITS2016
Masked and hidden faces, oversized silhouettes, worn and stained clothing as if dipped in ink, petrol or tar, frayed fabrics, even torn... In this space between the end of the world and an uncertain future, the voice of New Zealander Mayako Kano spoke the softest, but firmest, taking out the ITS fashion award with a large majority of the vote.
Both familiar and indefinite, serene and modern, Kano's collection showed great mastery in construction. It won the hearts of the jury with elegant dresses and a touch of subtly "subversive" retro, as described by the 32 year old designer.
Deconstructed clothes and carved in Chinese silk or damask fabrics were superimposed or intermingled with tunics and ice coloured organza shirts. Embroidery and lace branched from one stratum to another, changing clothes into hybrid sets.
"Shape and cut are very important. The challenge for me is to succeed in showcasing my resources. My dream is to be a designer. I admire Azzedine Alaïa, the way he uses materials and his techniques, the level of detail," explained the young designer, who studied architecture before shifting toward fashion.
After a stint at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Anvers and a Master in Fashion Design and Society at the Parsons School of Design in New York, Mayako Kano took on multiple internships within different fashion house, to then join the label of New York designer Jason Wu, where she's been responsible for coordinating collections (design collection coordinator) since May.
The OTB fashion prize was awarded to two winners this time, highlighting the high level of competition. Dane, Niels Gundtoft, and German, Anna Bornhold were named duel recipients.
The Scandinavian proposed a masculine sportswear collection with an interesting use of materials. Trousers, raincoats and windbreakers came extra large and designed in weatherproof fabrics. The even appeared weathered and printed, seeming battered by the elements and breaking into a colourful mosaic.
Passionate about grunge music, the 28 year old Niels Gundtoft Hansen abandoned the idea of becoming a musician, choosing to express himself with clothes after his studies at the Royal College of Art in London.
With Anna Bornhold, just like the New Zealand winner, the jury wanted to reward maturity. Aged 33, the German designer, who last year won the Prix Chloé at the Hyères Festival, presented for a second time at Trieste. Bornhold participated back in 2014 and won the Modeteca Deanna award, a prize she also won this year.
After studying art in Brême, the eclectic designer, who has dabbled in advertising and currently works for the German men's shoe brand Lloyd, distinguished herself with manual skill across a sophisticated mesh and texture work. With humour, Bornhold revisited basic sportswear with unexpectedly soft fabrics; from the sneaker to the Teddy jacket to denim jeans.
The accessories category was won by Briton Helen Kirkum (24), who impressed with her eco-sustainable project. Kirkum crafted sneakers from pieces of decomposed sneakers and stitched them together to make new sports shoes, appearing like a puzzle with each piece telling its own story.
Meanwhile, the accessories award, sponsored by YKK, went to Korean Young Jin Jang.
The top prize in the jewellery category, sponsored by Swarovski, went to the German Sari Rathel, while the Kazakh Tatiana Lobanova was awarded the Swarovski prize.
Winners of ITS 2016
ITS Award (10,000 euros): Mayako Kano (New Zealand)
OTB Award (5,000 euros + possibility of an internship in one of the group's brands): Anna Bornhold (Germany) and Niels Gundtoft Hansen (Denmark)
ITS Award (10,000 euros): Helen Kirkum (Great Britain)
YKK Award (10,000 euros): Young Jin Jang (South Korea)
ITS Prize (10,000 euros): Sari Rathel (Germany)
Swarovski Prize (10,000 euros): Tatiana Lobanova (Kazakhstan)
ITS Prize (10,000 euros): Marco Baitella (Italy)
Swatch Prize (5,000 euros + paid internship at Swatch): Jana Zornik (Slovenia)