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Armani launches student design contest alongside BFC

June 7, 2017

Emporio Armani ad campaign. Image credit Armani


Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is lending his support to up-and-coming design talent with the creation of a collegiate competition.

In collaboration with the British Fashion Council, the New Bond project will see students vie for a prize that includes the chance to have their creations produced for Emporio Armani. A common practice among luxury brands, searching for and nurturing talent while future designers are still in school allows labels to both give back and establish relationships before graduation.

Future proofing fashion
Armani’s competition is open to those studying at a school within the BFC Colleges Council network, which includes Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the Royal College of Art.

Per British Vogue, students will be asked to submit designs in the category of their choice, taking inspiration from Emporio Armani’s signatures. Three winners will have their designs produced and sold in the United Kingdom.

These three chosen students will also be given the opportunity to work with designers in Armani’s Milan headquarters for three months.

As part of this British focus, Emporio Armani will stage a runway show during London Fashion Week for the first time, presenting its collection in September.

Look from Emporio Armani's spring/summer 2017 collection. Image credit: Armani

"British design schools are among the most interesting in today’s arena," said Mr. Armani in a statement. "They produce unique talents, by encouraging the originality and individuality of each student.

“I believe that to be successful in fashion, creativity must go hand in hand with a pragmatic and realistic approach,” he said. “I would like to use this initiative to encourage a dialogue between these two elements, giving the winners a useful opportunity to succeed and move forward in their careers."

With talent a key issue in the luxury industry, a number of brands have created outreach programs with schools.

Similarly to Armani, Italian jeweler Bulgari supported young creatives with a competition with London design college Central Saint Martins.

Three graduates were chosen to create handbag designs, and were given the opportunity to visit the brand’s atelier to fashion a prototype. This further solidifies the ties between Bulgari’s parent company LVMH and the school, providing a link to young aspiring designers in a time when brands find it difficult to locate key talent (see story).