NEWS 22.05.12

Fashion Fringe 2012 Finalists announced by Christopher Bailey

Fashion Fringe Finalists 2012

(c) Nick Harvey for Fashion Fringe (L-R: Colin McDowell, Vita Gottleib, Haizhen Wang, Teija Eilola, Christopher Bailey)

22 May 2012 – Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey tonight announced the three designers he personally selected as Finalists for this year’s Fashion Fringe award at an intimate reception to celebrate the designers’ success, held at Burberry global headquarters Horseferry House in London.

The three talented finalists are:

  1. Haizhen Wang
  2. Teija Eilola
  3. Vita Gottlieb

Following a demanding two days of having their technical abilities reviewed and critiqued at the London College of Fashion and business plans assessed at Horseferry House during an interview with Christopher Bailey and Colin McDowell, Bailey made his final decision. At the event, Fashion Fringe welcomed mentors, Partners and supporters, along with fashion industry press and friends.

On choosing the three finalists, Christopher Bailey, the 2012 Chairman and sole judge commented:

“It has been such an incredible experience to be involved in the selection of our three Fashion Fringe Finalists Haizhen Wang, Teija Eilola and Vita Gottlieb. It goes without saying that every application we received was strong and this, in combination with the level of technical skill demonstrated and the amount of effort and attention to detail, was just so impressive. Going through the portfolios in stage one of this process was incredible, but meeting the Finalists in person today was truly inspirational.

“Everyday I am amazed at the sheer amount of creativity that Britain is generating. So it really is an honour, in partnership with Fashion Fringe, to be able to give these Finalists the opportunity to spend the summer doing what they love and honing their craft. I cannot wait to see the fruits of their hard work in September – this really is just the beginning of their journey.”

The trio will now embark on the Fashion Fringe programme, which begins with mentoring from influential names within the industry. As well as sessions provided by Fashion Fringe Partners, for the first time this year the Finalists will receive an exclusive opportunity to learn from the world-leading teams at Burberry.

Colin McDowell, Founder and Creative Director, said:

“This afternoon’s judging was one of the most enjoyable and pleasing times we’ve had in nine years of Fashion Fringe. Christopher was so assured and relaxed that he made it a pleasant experience for us all. We were in total agreement about the three Finalists after we had discussed the merits of all ten. It was close, but it was decisive.”

Throughout the summer, in addition the invaluable mentorship from the industry’s elite, all three Finalists will also be provided with financial support and studios at the London College of Fashion to create their Fashion Fringe collections, which will be shown in September during London Fashion Week.

The Finalists said:

Haizhen Wang
“I can’t believe it. I’m really excited and so thrilled this has happened to me. I feel so encouraged to keep working hard to achieve my dreams. This is it – this is the opportunity to take my work to a bigger stage.”

Teija Eilola
“I’m incredibly excited with the wonderful news. I’m really looking forward to working with Christopher – his recognition means so much. I’m looking forward to an exciting time ahead.”

Vita Gottlieb
“I’m feeling so elated. This is an extraordinary opportunity. I’m very much looking forward to the next stage; developing my collection, learning from the mentors and working with Christopher.”

At the catwalk show in September, Christopher Bailey will select one designer as the overall winner, receiving a two-year development package to help set up and sustain their business; which includes financial support and business planning advice, further mentoring and a fully equipped studio at Somerset House.

Click here to download images from this event.

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