The 2019 Remix design contest's finalists.

MILAN — Marking the last night of Milan Fashion Week, the International Fur Federation hosted a dinner at Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco’s restaurant “Carlo e Camilla in Segheria” to name the winners of the 16th edition of its Remix fur talent contest.

Netherlands-born designer Berivan Cemal won the gold award, enabling her to access a weeklong training program at Kopenhagen Fur and receive 25 mink skins to use in her upcoming design projects. The Copenhagen-based auction company sponsored the prize.

“What I have loved is the color the energy and the creativity that these young designers brought and particularly how they used fur in a different way so they do things that the manufacturers and the traditional furriers have never ever thought could be done with fur,” said Mark Oaten, chief executive officer of IFF.

“In doing so, those manufacturers start to think differently, so it brings a huge energy to the fur trade to have these new creative talents coming in, in this way,” he noted. “Young people set trends, young people care passionately about the environment and to have the commitment of hundreds of young designers, who enter this competition saying they want to work with fur because they think it’s sustainable sends a really good message.”

Applicant designers hailing from 23 international countries were asked to develop a collection of three different outfits based on responsibility, as in sustainable sourcing, use of recycled materials and environmentally friendly dyeing techniques.

The jury included Vogue Italia’s deputy director and head of Vogue Talents Sara Sozzani Maino; Italian designer Gabriele Colangelo; Filipino fashion influencer Bryanboy; Samantha De Reviziis, a sustainability expert and founder of consultancy firm SDR Agency as well as British designer Astrid Andersen. They also bestowed Berlin-based Huseyin Ozer and Chinese Dong Wang with the silver and bronze prizes, respectively.

Remix jury members Astrid Andersen and Bryanboy.

Remix jury members Astrid Andersen and Bryanboy.  Alessandro Olgiati/Courtesy Photo.

Andersen, also a former Remix contest finalist, recalled with nostalgia her participation and said her role as a judge changed her perspective as she focused more on details rather than on the overall concept. The looks presented by the bronze prize recipient seamlessly blending denim and fur were Andersen’s favorites. “I was really impressed by the level of details, I could actually keep looking at those three garments for like ages,” she noted. The bronze award included a full-paid training trip to Saga Furs Design Center sponsored by Saga Furs, the Finland-based fur auction company.

“I was also quite impressed by how all of the designers talked about the reasons why they worked with fur. I think it’s important because you need to always understand why you are doing it. It’s not something that you can do just for the sake of doing luxury,” Andersen said. “Fur can seem like an almost easy way in for luxury, so you need to really commit as to why you love this material because people are going to ask about it, and rightly so.”

Although her collections are rarely heavy on both real and fake fur, Andersen believes “there’s a way to responsible fake fur, as well, but unfortunately this is not what I see in a lot of houses that are maybe turning down real fur and replacing it with fake fur.”

The three winning fur designs will be at the center of the upcoming IFF’s “Fur Now” campaign and they will get the chance to be promoted through the Vogue Italia and platforms.