SwatchOn, the wholesale fabric sourcing platform and CLO‘s fabric partner, has created the Future of Fabric™ — a global design competition for promising new waves of talent in the industry. The contest culminated at the end of May 2021 in a coordinated worldwide influencer campaign, feeding into a dynamic microsite that captures the universe of 10 participating designer talents spanning across the U.K., Canada, Austria, Holland, Hong Kong, and more.
Since its launch three years ago, SwatchOn has been a fabric resource favored by emerging designers due to its streamlined website, efficient sampling service, and low Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs). By allowing designers to order exactly what they need at an affordable price, SwatchOn effectively empowers the budgets of brands and supports creative agility. This significantly contributes to the viability of the industry’s small- to mid-size brands.
Out of hundreds of applicants, 20 emerging designers were chosen to participate in the Future of Fabric™, each receiving $1,000 worth of fabric of their choice from SwatchOn in order to create one look — no rules, just creativity. After an internal selection process, 10 designers moved forward. Representing a global segment of emerging talent, these Top 10 designers are vibrant, fearless, and lead diverse fashion brands, from non-gendered, to femme-forward, and menswear. Florentina Leitner recently showed her AW2021 collection on CFDA’s Runway360 platform, while Two Point Two’s Spring Summer 2020 collection won the Vogue Talents x FAD “Scouting for India” competition, hosted by Vogue Italia.
In line with the digital transformation of the fashion industry, Future of Fabric™ flourished digitally. Each of the Top 10 looks were digitized using CLO, the leading fashion software for digital design and true-to-life garment simulation.
SwatchOn also remotely interviewed each of the 10 designers, documenting their creative processes in intimate detail. Engaging, informative clips full of personality depict talent from around the world eager to execute a creative project at the height of global lockdown. With each step of their creative process captured, from sketching, to pattern making, and to draping, we see designers connect to their own creative power participating together but alone in a singular contest while a COVID-ravaged world spins around them.
As a final step in this virtual collaboration, the contest went live digitally with a coordinated global influencer Instagram campaign. Each designer chose a tastemaker to style and shoot themselves wearing the designer’s winning look. Dutch designer Annelijn Hartevelt chose model Lizette Pinto of Fenty fame, Austrian designer Florentina Leitner nominated artist Aya Shalkar, while Indian label NS & Gaia selected sustainability advocate Ekta Rajani. The message was ‘let the look speak to you, and style however it inspires you.’
The images convey the strength of different creative forces championing the importance of the young new wave of talent pivoting, persevering, and creating beauty in the most tumultuous of times .These different layers create diverse but also connected universes of content, creativity and, talent.