WGSN Futures

It’s the fashion industry’s big night in London - the WGSN Fashion Futures Awards on May 27 - and RBIS is proud to sponsor the Emerging Brand Award once again. This unique award not only gives the winning, young brand global recognition, it also offers a two-year partnership with RBIS, which includes branding support  from innovation and design to manufacturing  and mentorship from our team of experts.

RBIS attributes brand success to dedication and thoughtfulness, combined with long-term strategy and vision to tell an authentic brand story. We’re looking for a designer who is not only capable of creating an inspired collection, but one who truly understands the importance of branding, and is capable of telling a compelling story across their collection.

With excitement leading up to the event this week, RBIS caught up with our four finalists Mimi Wade, Lauren Barfoot, Ilse Jara and Verena Schepperheyn to find out how their brand story impacts their work, from design to sustainability, and ultimately what this award means to them.

Lauren Barfoot of Holland Street had a unique view on sustainability and developed an innovative approach for her brand. “We employ a strict minimal-waste approach for all aspects in the business. Instead of producing long repeating block designs I use computer-aided design (CAD) technology to work to a template and engineer motifs that flow around the body parts and garment shapes in quite a bespoke way. This not only makes the manufacturing simpler and faster to cut out, but it also minimizes waste and maximizes the use of each garment.”

All of the designers expressed a trend toward valuing the power of the web not only for the industry, but also how essential it is for the success of their brands’ future. Ilse Jara gave us a unique take on the future of fashion with the atelier model making a comeback. “The industry is changing and reviewing its grammar, with luxury brands focusing more on a bespoke service. Stores are becoming private places where clients can receive an accurate consultancy. The atelier model is coming back and I am proud my brand has followed this concept. I want my clients to emerge with the amazing experience to sit down with my team and work together on their dress, or with a piece of the latest collection, because every piece is as unique as they are.”

Verena Schepperheyn filled us with pride in her response to sustainability through her against-the-grain approach to mass production: “My plan is to grow the collection with more accessible pieces. I think it is important to be conscious of what you are creating, so from the start I decided that all our products should be produced entirely in my home country, Germany. Not only is it a more sustainable choice, but we want to create long-lasting products not only with an interesting design and great quality, but produced under fair working conditions.”

Mimi Wade spoke to us about the creation of her brand story and her inspiration when designing her collections. “My granny had a big influence on my aesthetic and a lot of my prints are derived from the old posters and memorabilia at her house in Hollywood, as part of either my interpretation of her world, or taken out of context and into the now. I like to make pretty clothes for brave women, mostly with a low-key sense of humour and an emphasis on print. I’m also obsessed with lingerie details and this really informs the silhouette and the fabrics I choose and will always be an integral part of the brand.”

What would it mean for these finalists to win such an award?

WGSN Futures Award 'Emerging Brand' Nominees; Holland Street, Verena Schepperheyn, Ilse Jara and Mimi Wade.

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