The ITS Competition Introduces a New Format in Trieste

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The ITS Competition: The ITS is launching a new strategy that is based on artistic residencies and exhibitions, rather than the traditional fashion show and OTB awards. The 2023–2024 iteration of the International Talent Support (ITS) is markedly different from previous editions due to this shift. On March 22, the winners of the 21st edition of this competition for young designers will be announced in Trieste, a city in Italy’s northern region. The celebration will take place at the ITS Arcademy, which Barbara Franchin, the force behind the event’s 2002 conception, opened last year as the first museum devoted to modern fashion.

‘Born to Create’ is the name of this year’s version, which, unlike other ones that ended in fashion shows, gives the ITS Residency Award—a residency at the ITS Arcademy—to the sixteen finalists representing eleven different nations.

Eleven fashion category finalists were chosen from 782 entries; they are: Marcel Sommer and Chelsea Jean Lamm of Germany, Daniel Bosco of Canada, Clémentine Baldo and Shanon Poupard of France, Ivan Delogu of Italy, Ju Bao of China, Mert Serbest of Turkey, Momoka Sato and Tomohiro Shibuki of Japan, and Silvia Acien Parrilla of Spain. Also, two competitors stand out in the jewelry and accessories categories: Eun Ji Oh of Belgium and Tal Maslavi of Israel for accessories, and Kexuan Liu of China and Richard Farbey of the UK for jewelry. Swatch also has the prestigious ‘Artwork’ award that French artist Lilian Navarro is vying for.

From March 17–21, the 16 finalists resided at the ITS Arcademy, where they participated in intensive lectures and workshops given by prominent figures in the field. Their works will be showcased in two upcoming exhibitions: “Born to Create” (March 28–January 6, 2025) and “The Many Lives of a Garment,” which will be curated by the acclaimed Italian philosopher Emanuele Coccia and famous French fashion historian Olivier Saillard, respectively.

The exhibition asks spectators to think about the worth that clothes gain over time. Olivier Saillard asked the people of Trieste to bring him garments to which they had a strong emotional connection in order to curate the show. Mannequins dressed in garments made by previous ITS finalists complement the display and act as observers among the raucous crowd.

The 12th annual ITS Arcademy Award, together with its €15,000 cash prize, will be presented at Friday’s spectacular conclusion. Prominent newcomers include the ITS Challenge The Status Quo Award, presented by WRAD, which supports creative and ethical design projects, and the GO! 2025 Borderless Award, presented by Regione FVG, which encourages finalists to push the frontiers of fashion. To celebrate diversity and inclusion, the ITS has launched the ITS Community Award, where members of the general public can vote for their favorite performers.

The prestigious OTB prize will unfortunately not be awarded this year due to the decision of entrepreneur Renzo Rosso, who has supported the event for many years via his Diesel brand and the OTB fashion and luxury conglomerate, to end his sponsorship.

Ethan Sullivan

Ethan's penchant for the pulse of the fashion world extends to covering lifestyle topics, offering readers a seamless blend of the latest style updates and lifestyle trends.

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