Federico Marchetti

MILAN — Yoox and Vogue Italia continue to promote innovation across the fashion industry.

After nine years of Vogue Talents, the initiative launched in 2011 to support international emerging designers and labels, including JW Anderson, Aquazzura and Bethany Williams, the e-tailer and the Condé Nast fashion title conceived a new project, to be officially launched with a dinner on Feb. 22 during Milan Fashion Week.

Called “Vogue Yoox Challenge — The Future of Responsible Fashion,” the initiative is a contest for designers and start-ups, which are asked to present forward-thinking projects, focused on sustainability, aimed at bringing responsible innovation in different areas of the fashion chain, from design and manufacturing to distribution.

The first edition of the contest will be launched in February and the 10 finalists will be revealed in September, when they will showcase their projects during Milan Fashion Week. The finalists will be selected by a scientific committee, including Create Sustain founder and creative director Alex McIntosh; Giorgia Roversi, Yoox Net-a-porter Group director of sustainability and inclusion, as well as Francesco Perrini, professor at Bocconi University’s management and technology department, among others.

The 10 final projects will be evaluated by a jury spanning from Yoox Net-a-porter Group president and chief executive officer Federico Marchetti and Vogue Italia editor in chief Emanuele Farneti to Rosario Dawson, Liya Kebede, Amber Valletta, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana president Carlo Capasa and London College’s Sustainable Fashion Center director Dilys Williams, to cite a few.

The winner of the contest, which will be revealed in February 2021 during Milan Fashion Week, will receive a 50,000 euros prize, as well as communication, mentoring and distribution support by Yoox and Vogue Italia.

“The future is already here, and that’s exciting. Through the Vogue Yoox Challenge, young designers with visionary ideas and new start-ups capable of using technology to create sustainable solutions will revolutionize fashion,” Marchetti said. “They are the protagonists of tomorrow, the ones that will invent a way of working that respects both the world and nature. And we will be ready to help and guide them to succeed in this challenge.”

“The huge challenge of sustainability in fashion doesn’t require theoretical statements but concrete actions, according to one’s own possibilities,” Farneti said. “Vogue Italia made its voice heard last January with an issue where we renounced to shoot editorials. The money we saved was donated to a Venetian institution, which was damaged by flood water. Our commitment continues in partnership with Yoox with an ambitious project: selecting and supporting talents which can bring authentic disruption into our industry, both on the creative and business sides.”

In keeping with their commitment to the sustainable cause, starting from March, every month Yoox will launch a new sustainable capsule, while Vogue Italia will organize portfolio review sessions around the world to promote sustainability among emerging designers.