Looking for talent that will stay

Increasingly, wearability is key in winning designer competitions.

More than any concerns of novelty, innovation, or directionality, the priorities of the local fashion industry rang loud and clear at the 8th MEGA Young Designer’s Competition, held last week. Creating wearable, well-constructed pieces and understanding the market seem the strong, practical, if somewhat sobering advice of seasoned designers and other industry professionals to the young competitors.

The assertions hardly come as a surprise. In recent years, major competitions and fashion shows have seen significantly lesser experimentation among young designers. Whereas once they would have been encouraged to indulge their fantasies and flesh out their imaginations on the catwalk, today the challenges and directions for new entrants instead reflect the greater concerns of industry and economy, and consider the practical need for finding a market and being a working designer over everything else.

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