Competitive Couture: Shortlist Named For H&M Design Award

The H&M Design Award 2013 shortlist has just been announced and fashionistas are fizzing with excitement to see some of the work from the 8 finalists.

It’s a dog eat dog world, the fashion industry. With so much talent pouring out of so many design academies, breaking into the fashion market is no easy task. Getting your work noticed is a major challenge that most people face, but sometimes, something like the H&M Design Award comes along to give designers the chance to leapfrog the hardest graft phase and experience immediate exposure.

Swedish Support

H&M, the Swedish retailer have gotten behind this initiative for the second year running and the idea is to be at the helm of a novel type of collaboration, the result of which is an academic prize and a mentorship. A catwalk show will be granted to the winner during Stockholm’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and on top of that they’ll receive a fine bounty of £41,400. It’s not all doom and gloom for the “losers”, though. One of the other 7 finalists will be given the chance to intern at Jonathan Saunders’ London Studio. Known as the People’s Prize, the public can vote at designaward2013.hm.com to select their favourite designer.

Design Diva

The Head of Design at H&M, Ann-Sofie Johansson was tasked with the challenge of trawling through scores of budding talent from 19 design academies across 8 European countries. Maragareta Van Den Bosch (Creative Advisor to H&M) who has conducted many spectacular collaborations with the brand, joined Johansson in inviting a diverse panel of judges to London with the intention of reviewing the showcases of each of the finalists. The panel included members from diversely skilled backgrounds, such as designer, Jonathan Saunders, blogger Hanneli Mustaparta, photographer, Sølve Sundsbø and Journalist Tim Blanks.

Below are the eight finalists and a mini-bio, in order of their show:

  • Erik Litzen: collection P-Androgeny

Beckmans, Sweden
keywords: sculpted outerwear – playing with gender neutrality

  • Eleonora Bruno: collection La Vie de Madame Rouy

Polimoda, Italy
keywords: feathers & prints, gold & color – intersection between historical and theatrical

  • Thom Barends: collection Touched by grace

ArtEZ, Netherlands
keywords: techno glamour, reclaim and repurpose – socio-economical chic

  • Daniela Salazar: collection Spring Summer 2013

Ecole Couture Parisienne, France
keywords: clean layering, geometric & accessible – subtle architectural lines

  • Minju Kim: collection Dear my friend

Artesis, Belgium
keywords: contrasting textures, color experimentation – fearlessly conceptual

  • Maia Bergman: collection Spring Summer 2013

Central Saint Martins, United Kingdom
keywords: simple and clean, keen color palette – fixed hook process

  • Mark Tan: collection Boohbloom

DSKD, Denmark
keywords: tailored, cut and folded – a reimagination of material application

  • Alba Prat: collection Synchron

UDK – Germany
keywords: red & blue, technical – an abstraction of a heartbeat

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Dave Peterson has travelled the world in search of inspired fashion to write about. It’s a passion that only emerged a few years back, but now he is obsessed with catching the latest fashion shows and keeping on trend with everything from boutique clothing to street chic.