About ITS Contest

Building The Ark is a new web series produced by ITS. It follows the creative paths of 3 fashion designers (all former finalists of ITS) who were challenged to create 3 pieces of fashion-art inspired by 3 different concepts: THE FAMILY (the family of ITS and the network), THE HEART (the symbol of ITS and the Creative Archive), THE FUTURE (ITS ARCADEMY, the under-construction evolution of ITS). Each designer will take us into their creative process, sharing thoughts, showing their tools, their workplaces, the complete making-of.

Building the Ark – the Web Series

Noa is a designer from Israel, currently hosted at Diesel HQ for the internship won at ITS2020, who has a penchant for stylising graphic optical illusions. Justin is a milliner from London, who works for fashion, tv and major motion pictures. Olivia is a designer from Canada whose style can be described as responsibly playful, eccentric with a good dose of humour. Along the 7 episodes we will follow the whole process of the making of a fashion art piece, from sketching to prototyping, receiving feedback, finishing and curating the final video shooting.

In the meanwhile, within the episodes of Building The Ark another story will unfold, raising like a phoenix from the ashes of the 2020 contest, following another journey which will bring us directly inside the past, the present and the future of ITS. A colourful, playful and intense quest for special items, places and realities.

Videos and Insights

Episode 7 - Insights

Building The Ark INSIGHTS, the backstories from our Building The Ark web series.

In this final insight of Episode 7 "RUBEDO" which wraps-up the web series we take a closer look at the photo shoots of the final projects by milliner Justin Smith, Noa Baruch and Olivia Rubens.

We also get to see more footage of Diesel, Swatch and Allianz, the partners involved in the project, with Diesel Creative Director Glenn Martens, Swatch Art Peace Hotel CEO Carlo Giordanetti and ITS Arcademy Director Barbara Franchin for Allianz, providing final feedback to the designers.

We also look back at the amazing locations in our Friuli Venezia Giulia region, breathtaking home to the production of the web series, and we explain the grand finale with our muse Martina Vodanova.

Episode 7 - Rubedo

Noa, Justin and Olivia complete their projects and receive feedback from their supporting partners. We finally see their creations and complete this creative journey, flying back to where it all began and where new seeds are sown, to grow our dreams.

Noa Baruch meets with Diesel Creative Director Glenn Martens - a designer she has admired and loved for many years - to look at the prototype and final advice on detail refinement. It is a dream come true for her to develop this project at Diesel HQ and to receive professional feedback from someone she has looked up to for so long.

Justin Smith talks about details with Carlo Giordanetti - Management Swatch International, CEO Swatch Art Peace Hotel - the silversmithing for the top hat frame and the production of a lifecast of himself to shape a mannequin to wear the hat. The installation interacts with viewers and references Swatch by including a clock mechanism.

Olivia Rubens was challenged by Allianz to imagine the future of sustainability. Because for Allianz, insuring the future of its customers is not just about providing financial security. It also means that sustainability in all its dimensions is a priority for the Group. During a conversation between Olivia and ITS Arcademy Director Barbara Franchin we discover the difficulties she came up against while finalising the production of her outfit.

We can appreciate their completed projects. Noa and Justin fly to Trieste, Italy, to shoot them at Azimut Studio with photographer Massimo Gardone. Olivia organises a studio photoshoot letting us video a sneak peek with her camera.

The web series ends with our Building The Ark muse facing a waterfall (Fontanone di Goriuda in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region) receiving a seed which represents the birth of a new dream called ITS Arcademy.

Episode 6 - Journey

Noa Baruch, Justin Smith and Olivia Rubens begin to close in on the final realisation of their pieces. Study, develop, experiment are key in unleashing creativity and in this episode we will be spectators.
Noa is transitioning from her two-dimensional sketches to the three-dimensional prototypes, developing tests and solving problems along the way. Justin is receiving ITS Family support from acclaimed jewellery designer and past finalist Tomasz Donocik for the development of the silver parts of his headwear piece. Olivia is applying the bacterial coating that will apply photosynthesis to her outfit turning it green (from all points of view).
As the projects come closer and closer to their completion, magical plants will guide us through an inner journey to discover the link to our final destination.

Episode 6 - Insights

Building The Ark INSIGHTS, the backstories from our Building The Ark web series.

In the insight of Episode 6 “JOURNEY” we’re introduced to Tomasz Donocik, celebrated jewellery designer and former ITS finalist collaborating with Justin for his project Building The Ark.

We also find out about “Utopia”, the concept developed for the 15th edition of ITS held in 2016 (the surreal and quasi-psychedelical space our muse travels through in episode 6).

We get to know more about Post Carbon Lab and the bacterial coating that is applied onto Olivia Rubens’ outfit, turning it into a living organism with photosynthetic / pollution-filtering properties.

Episode 5 - Connection

Our 3 designers receive feedback on their proposals and share their thoughts and goals.

Like guardian angels, invisible to the naked eye but perceptible to the soul, we will visit the places and connect with the people making ITS Arcademy a reality.

Episode 5 - Insights

Building The Ark INSIGHTS: get to know all the backstories of Building The Ark. The prequels, the people, the spoilers, the buzz!

In the insight of Episode 5 of our BTA web series we step inside the Headquarters of ITS, located in the same building where ITS Arcademy will be, and we get to know Trieste, a small city on the Adriatic coast of Italy, far from the usual beaten paths of fashion, which has always been the home of ITS.

This is where ITS staff perpetually works to analyse, catalog and preserve all the portfolios collected in 20 years. The portfolios are central to the history of ITS and they go from wildly artistic to pragmatically technical.

Finally, this insight presents the amazing photo project currently in progress by Azimut Studio with photographer Massimo Gardone, which will be premiered during the online event in November 2021.

Episode 4 - Future

ALLIANZ is all about the FUTURE and joining forces for Building The Ark was a natural thing to do. Their sole purpose is to secure the future and the lives of their customers, particularly through environmental responsibility, low emissions and social inclusion.

This is why, together with ALLIANZ, we have agreed that Olivia Rubens was the perfect choice to conceptualise, imagine and speculate about what to expect from the future of ITS, developing an outfit focused on sustainability and responsible creativity.

Olivia has a penchant for sustainability and a strong vision of the FUTURE. In this episode she will let us dive deep into her philosophy and her craftsmanship. Digging our way through the portfolio collection, the building site and the sleeping archive, we will find a new hidden treasure.

Episode 4 - Insights

Building The Ark INSIGHTS: get to know all the backstories of Building The Ark. The prequels, the people, the spoilers, the buzz!

In the insight of Episode 4 of our BTA web series we get a closer look at the ITS Creative Archive, our open laboratory for the future of creativity allowing a conversation to flow between design, industry and innovation.

We also get to know more about ITS Founder & Director Barbara Franchin, about our future, represented by ITS Arcademy which is currently on the build (yes, we are BUILDING THE ARK!), and about the brief that Olivia Rubens is currently developing, a sustainable project in collaboration with our partner Allianz:

Allianz and ITS are building the future together. Allianz is committed to securing the future and the lives of their clients, particularly through environmental responsibility, low emissions and social inclusion.

It is no coincidence that Olivia was selected for this special Building The Ark project, she is invested in social justice and environmental sustainability.

Finally, we dive deeper into “The Future”, the concept that was developed for ITS 2015.

Episode 3 - Heart

Swatch continues to support ITS, now through ITS Arcademy, in the fitting form of a collaboration between milliner Justin Smith and Swatch Art Peace Hotel for a project based on the concept of HEART.

In the ideal continuation of Swatch’s support to ITS and now to ITS Arcademy, milliner Justin Smith is working on the Swatch Art Peace Hotel project based on the concept of HEART. His artwork will remain in the ITS Arcademy as a founding stone and as a memento of the Swatch & ITS relationship.

In this episode we visit Justin’s workshop and witness his sources of inspiration and craftsmanship, as he ponders over love and creativity. A multifaceted symbol, a Heart, with a little dose of training and commitment, will transport us inside a fantastic lucid dream.

Episode 3 - Insights

Building The Ark INSIGHTS: get to know all the backstories of Building The Ark. The prequels, the people, the spoilers, the buzz!

In the insight of Episode 3 of our BTA web series we meet Carlo Giordanetti - CEO Swatch Art Peace Hotel - interfacing with milliner Justin Smith as he develops the “Heart” brief by Swatch. A heart was also at the core of the “Sincerely True” concept of ITS 2019, as well as being the purest, simplest universal symbol that embodies the meaning of ITS.

One section transports us back to ITS 2014 “Lucid Dream” and showcases the “Over the Rainbow” video sung by former finalists in 2009.

We are also introduced to the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, a residency for artists, where talents form all over the world can apply to live and work in Shanghai. A lively community built on Swatch passion for artists and their work.

Episode 2 - Family

Working with the design team at DIESEL HQ's, in Italy, Noa will be profoundly exploring the concept of FAMILY. In this episode we will be taken into her creative process, her source of inspirations and see her tools of the trade.

Under the supervision of Diesel’s Creative Director Glenn Martens, she is developing stereo 3d denim that is versatile, unisex and adjustable, inspired by items from the Diesel archive.

As our adventure continues, we will see through the eyes of days long gone for a glimpse of atmospheres and stories of the past.

Episode 2 - Insights

In the insight to Episode 2 of our BTA web series we get to discover more about Glenn Martens’ journey from his early days with his eponymous brand, to Y/Project and being appointed Creative Director of DIESEL. We also dive deeper into the concepts of ITS: every edition approached a specific theme both ludicrously and philosophically, to create entire worlds of visuals, sounds and settings for the event. And we get an even closer look to Noa Baruch’s project in DIESEL under the supervision of Glenn Martens, as she develops a total look fully made in denim fabric inspired by the idea of FAMILY.

Episode 1 - Nigredo

Noa, Justin and Olivia. Three fashion designers working on three concepts to create amazing pieces of art. Get to know them, see their faces, visit their places of work. Discover how they are preparing for this journey. Meanwhile another journey is beginning, wakening up from 2020 directly in 2021, an adventure that will take us through the past, the present and the future of ITS.

Episode 1 - Insights

Building The Ark INSIGHTS: get to know all the backstories of Building The Ark.
The prequels, the people, the spoilers, the buzz!

Episode 1 INSIGHT: Olivia, Justin, Noa and ITS, International Talent Support.