ITS 2016.

ITS ON: Italy’s International Talent Support contest — also known as ITS — is back.

Following a one-year hiatus in 2017 due to a lack of funds, the Trieste-based design competition for emerging fashion, accessories and jewelry talents will return this June for its 16th edition.

Founded in 2002 by Barbara Franchin, the contest is back thanks to a new partnership with the Italian fashion chamber, Pitti Immagine and Altaroma, which will cooperate to provide continuity to ITS’ scouting activity and promotion of young designers.

Companies such as OTB Group, Swatch and Illy also resumed their partnership with the program. In particular, OTB’s president Renzo Rosso has been supporting the contest since its launch, first with Diesel and then with the brand’s parent company, which also controls the Maison Margiela, Marni, Viktor & Rolf and Paula Cademartori fashion labels.

“ITS has always been an incredible source of energy and inspiration,” Rosso said in a statement. “Many of its finalists work in the style offices of the most well-known fashion houses of the world, without mentioning our own.” The latest to join the group’s brands through an internship were the tied winners of the 2016 OTB Award, Niels Gundtoft Hansen and Anna Bornhold.

On renewing OTB’s collaboration with the contest, Rosso said he hopes “that more and more new talents will one day pride themselves to have started at ITS.”

These include Vetements’ founder and Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia — winner of the third edition of the competition in 2004 — and designers Peter Pilotto, Yuima Nakazato and Aitor Throup, among others.

Enrollment for the upcoming edition opened online on Wednesday, while the finalists will be revealed in early May, after an international jury examines candidates’ portfolios in Trieste.

The main event, comprising a fashion show and the unveiling of the winner, is set for June 27. The prizes will include the ITS Award, which is given to the best fashion, accessories or jewelry finalist, who will also receive a cash reward of a minimum of 15,000 euros, along with a feature in Vogue Italia’s supplement Vogue Talents and on the dedicated web site.

The winner of the OTB Award will receive 10,000 euros and the opportunity to join one of the groups’ brands as an intern, while the Swatch Award will include a cash prize of 10,000 euros and a six-month paid experience at the Swatch LAB in Zurich, while Swatch also helps support the ITS Artwork contest, dedicated to artistic-oriented young talents.

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