Fred Segal and the Black in Fashion Council have partnered to launch an inaugural design competition to provide support for emerging talent in the creative and fashion industries. The nationwide contest — Season Zero — is accepting submissions now until Nov. 2.
“We are looking to bring diversity to our industry and amplify underrepresented designers and artisans that are just starting out on their creative journey,” Ashley Petrie, vice president of women’s merchandising at Fred Segal, told WWD exclusively.
The winner will receive $10,000 in cash, a pop-up at Fred Segal’s flagship West Hollywood location in Los Angeles, as well as mentorship from both the retailer and the Black in Fashion Council, an organization of brands, editors, models, stylists and other industry players (including Fred Segal) working to assure the advancement of Black people in fashion. Second- and third-place recipients will also be recognized and awarded individual $5,000 cash prizes, courtesy of Fred Segal’s Fred Gives charity — a supporter of the arts and providing Season Zero’s financial rewards.
Applicants, who must be designers or artisans without a current brick-and-mortar or retail space, are asked to submit 10 to 15 digital files of their own design work. There’s also the option of including a bio, a video and showcasing the “vision for their brand.” Finalists will be showcased on Fred Segal’s social media accounts on Nov. 20 and winners will be revealed on Dec. 4.
“This idea was born from the desire to help and support communities of color in a much more meaningful and impactful way,” continued Petrie, who will review submissions alongside Brian Nyilas, vice president of men’s merchandising at Fred Segal, and Teen Vogue’s Lindsay Peoples Wagner, cofounder of the Black in Fashion Council. “We are happy to be working in collaboration with the Black in Fashion Council to continue to make strides in improving inclusivity in this industry.”