For the past 20 years there has been a design competition in France that has been the jumping off point for many of our world class fashion designers of the new millennium. We in the United States are so conditioned to being tuned into competitions ranging from the end of year Parsons School of design competition to the San Francisco Academy of Art yearly review to Project Runway that we lose sight of the big picture and this is the international platform. Hyeres differentiates itself from the rest as the 3 day event features 10 designers who have been selected from all over the world; this year ranging from Canada to Russia with collections that are as diverse as their origins.
The purpose of the event is give these young designers all the support they need to produce a collection that is worthy of any runway in any fashion capitol of the world. With the help of sponsors like LVMH, Vogue, Swarovski, L’Oreal, Woolmark and so many more, these designers are almost assured of a first rate collection whether it be in production, media coverage, presentation or even hair and make-up. To be selected for this event is an opportunity bar none. Past entrants have included Viktor & Rolf, Xuly Bet, Gaspard Yurkievich, Romain Kremer to name just a very small portion and then you have the judges who have included names such as Alaia, Galliano, Margiella, Lagerfeld, Gaultier and so many may more luminaries of the fashion world.
This article will feature this year’s entrants and a very small portion of their considerable body of work. Spoiler alert... if you don’t already know the big winner of the competition is Finnish designer Satu Maaranen and as you will see, this is no surprise!
I suggest you search out this event to get the full breadth of its importance and what it all entails, join the Woolmark page on Facebook and see a more comprehensive view of the show and most of all, take note of the names as you will be hearing from them again, and again for a long time to come.
P.S. these clothes and collections make Project Runway look like a Home Economics sewing project!
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT EVERYONE'S WEBSITES...XING SU, SHAN SHAN RUAN, DAMIEN RAVN, MARION DE RAUCOURT, SATU MAARANEN, YVONNE KWOK, XENIA LAFFLY, CAMILLE KUNZ, HENNING JURKE, TOMAS BERZINS/VICTORIA FELDMAN