For the seventh consecutive season, VFiles will champion its next class of emerging designers in a biannual, “Project Runway”-esque fashion show — albeit, more offbeat than what’s seen on Lifetime’s reality television series — during New York Fashion Week.
The event, set to take place at 8 p.m. on Sept. 7 at Spring Studios, typically showcases designs of the boundary-pushing, gender-bending, risk-taking sort, as well as live performances, and this season should be no different.
VFiles revealed the winning designers — a particularly global bunch this year, with Mexico, Italy, China, Belgium and Korea represented — exclusively to WWD. “We believe in the global language of fashion, and this just confirms it even further,” said Julie Anne Quay, the former executive editor of V Magazine, chief executive officer and founder of VFiles.
For the spring season, the designers will include brothers Eri and Philip Chu of the Hong Kong-based brand Ground Zero; Rushemy Botter, a men’s wear designer and Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp graduate; Barbara Sanchez-Kane, designer of the Mexico-based men’s wear brand Sanchez-Kane; Song Seoyoon, a New York-based Parsons School of Design graduate focused on sustainability and social issues, and Alessandro Trincone, an Italy-based designer and graduate of University La Sapienza di Roma and Osaka Bunka.
The candidates, who submitted their work to VFiles.com, were selected after being reviewed by the VFiles team and a panel of critics that this year included Naomi Campbell, Young Thug, Pat McGrath, Mel Ottenberg and designer Jerry Lorenzo of men’s wear label Fear of God.
“Each season, we choose our mentors largely based on who we think is relevant to this fashion moment, can provide constructive support and feedback to our winners and most importantly, who our winners will listen to,” said Quay. The mentors will work closely with the VFiles team to consult with each of the designers ahead of the runway show.
All talent on the runway and backstage — including makeup artists and hairstylists — will be culled from VFiles’ digital community, a creative-focused social networking web site and app. On the platform, users can upload and share their work, collaborate with one another and ultimately get their work noticed. “Seventy percent of the users on the platform are under 24 and they are a very talented, specialized and opinionated bunch,” Quay said. “We are now using VFiles Runway to break in young artists as well as designers, models, photographers, stylists and hair and makeup artists.”
Speaking to the evolution of the VFiles Runway initiative over the past seven seasons, Quay said, “I think we are really finding where our special footprint is. VFiles’ mission is to connect and empower a global youth community and VFiles Runway has been one of the main places for us to showcase our community in a physical way to a global audience.”