After a year in which nothing has gone according to plan, it is fitting that the Future of Fabric contest is stretching out the announcement of its 10 finalists.
To showcase the talent in multiple forms as each of the 10 are named in the coming week, there is a Future of Fabric microsite that is dedicated to the project. Each designer has partnered with an influencer. Hundreds applied to be considered and 20 were selected, with each being given $1,000 worth of fabric from SwatchOn to create a new look. Participants had total creative freedom to whip up whatever they fancied. And as it turns out, organizers have decided there will be no single winner, just the 10 finalists.
Introduced shortly before the pandemic shutdown in March 2020, the competition started off as a traditional one. Not wanting it to languish, the digital-fluent SwatchOn flipped to a virtual model, interviewing the 20 designers remotely, documenting their creative processes and then compiling and editing that into clips and mini interviews.
The 10 finalists are Andrew Coimbra, Angus Tsui, Annaiss Yucra, Jenn Lee, Silpa, Florentina Leitner, Annelijn Hartevelt, Katrin Aasmaa, N&S GAIA and Two Point Two.
Based in South Korea, SwatchOn is a wholesale fabric platform that connects fashion brands from around the world with more than 200,000 fabrics, including a sustainable and eco-forward fabric section. The company ships fabrics to 60 countries. Unlike most of its competitors, SwatchOn offers a three-yard minimum which is environmentally friendly and attainable for up-and-coming creatives. SwatchOn is also a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Supply Chain Collective. But the company can ship quantities up to 500,000 yards.
In March, SwatchOn launched its digital fabric library that is compatible with CLO3D software. Last month was SwatchOn’s strongest one for sales in its four-year history, according to a company spokeswoman. The online fabric sourcing platform more than tripled in size, she said.
The 10 finalists will begin to have their final looks unveiled Monday with their respective global influencer. There will also be a 3D garment simulation of each of the designers’ final looks using CLO3D. Everything will be showcased on the microsite. The top 10 are from the U.K., Canada, Austria, Holland, Hong Kong, Estonia and other locales.