THE UTOPIANS. Here is the ITS 2016 Generation

05 May 2016


Last week was a very intense week. It also was the most exciting week of the year for us, since day by day we saw the 2016 generation of young talents come together, as the juries for the 4 contest fields narrowed down their selections, coming up with the 41 projects that make the ITS 2016 Finalists. We are extremely proud to present them to you and can’t wait to showcase them here in Trieste on July the 16th in front of the international press, the opinion leaders, fashion insiders, headhunters and jury members that will gather for our 15-year anniversary celebration.

But before we go through the 4 lists, here is a message from Barbara in regards to this year’s selection:

“Thanks to the 935 contestants who applied this year, from 78 countries . And to the 184 schools in 53 countries. I have respectfully stepped into your portfolios one by one without skipping a single page. Applications arrived both from students in their final year as well as from recently graduated ones, which means that some had complete photo shoots of their finished outfits/pieces while those about to graduate were still working on their collections. This could be seen as an unbalanced situation, had the jury not taken particular care in fully understanding the projects regardless: I would like to stress the fact that the strength of a project and the way it is presented, even if still in progress, have more than once convinced the jury in the past. And by the way, you are all together with the over 16,000 portfolios in our unique ITS CREATIVE ARCHIVE now!
Thanks to all of the jurors who have committed to this task. Sharing the finalists’ selections with you has been a privilege.

Thanks to the ITS TEAM for their big effort.

Thanks to our partners, who believe in what we do here at ITS. They helped us make all this possible.

Thanks to our hometown Trieste, the home of ITS. It has provided the perfect setting to welcome international creativity throughout all these years and the financial support of the local institutions has been important in securing the growth and establishment of the event. 

Barbara Franchin

And now, it is with the utmost joy that we unveil the names of the ITS 2016 finalists:


Olesya Serchenko (Russian)
Mayako Kano (New Zealander)
Hayk Gabrielyan (German)
Flora Miranda (Austrian)
Séro Oh (South Korean)
Birute Mazeikaite (Lithuanian)
Cheng Zong Yu (Taiwanese)
Shinhwan Kim (South Korean)
Anna Bornhold (German)
Niels Gundtoft Hansen (Danish)
Stefanie Tschirky (Swiss)

Birute Mazeikaite
Birute Mazeikaite

Accessories Finalists

Helen Kirkum (British)
Melanie Lewiston (British)
Biyuan Zhang (Chinese)
Ilaria Fiore (Italian)
Tsugumi Elkawa (Japanese)
Le Roni Sachelaridi (Paraguayan)
Jana Zornik (Slovenian)
Young Jin Jang (South Korean)
Woo Jung Jung (South Korean)
Chu-Ting Lee (Taiwanese)

Le Roni Sachelaridi
Le Roni Sachelaridi

Artwork Finalists

Wenxin Lee (Chinese)
Karan Torani (Indian)
Marco Baitella (Italian)
Chinami Tokizawa (Japanese)
Hazuki Katagai (Japanese)
Birute Mazeikaite (Lithuanian)
Jana Zornik (Slovenian)
Han Kim (South Korean)
Sheila Pazos (Spanish)
Cheng Zong Yu (Taiwanese)

Sheila Pazos
Sheila Pazos

Jewelry Finalists

Elizabeth Lee (British)
Yuanjing Dong (Chinese)
Xi Xia (Chinese)
Garance Brandely (French)
Sari Rathel (German)
Gisela F. Juwono & Larasati D. Putri (Indonesian)
Masaki Shimizu (Japanese)
Chinami Tokizawa (Japanese)
Tatiana Lobanova (Kazakhstani)
Alyssa Lee (Malaysian)

Xi Xia
Xi Xia

Read here below the comments by the selections’ jurors:

“This being the 15th edition of ITS, it was interesting to see how the main themes of the past have been put into acceleration, made explode and fragment. Even gender representation got blurred and reconsidered. The lack of originality – at least for who has seen many editions of ITS – is certainly compensated by the sheer creativity of the projects.”

“The selection is surprising: this is an area that is growing and challenging norms, creating whole new categories. Accessories stand halfway between clothing and object. As such they can create new ways of using fashion. The selected finalists are brave, fearless and inventing.”

Angelo Flaccavento
Independent Fashion Critic & Curator

“Always so special to be part of the selections. You get the chance to see so many different projects, each one opening your mind and stimulating your curiosity. This is something very unique that you only feel being part of ITS!”

“New visions, stories, concepts, styles. The creativity of all these talented designers is infinite and so precious for us, they manage to stimulate, to impress, to make us laugh and also move which is just so incredible and unique. Passion is what brings to success.”

Sara Maino
Senior Editor Vogue Italia & Vogue Talents

“In a digital-visual era, craftsmanship becomes more and more relevant. The millennial new generation is facing this change with a foot in the past and the other in the future. Gender re-definition, in every sense (not just sexually speaking) is a fundamental matter. It seems that students are reflecting on the possible ways to bring the best of our past into the present technology revolution and to a more balanced and new future.”

Simone Marchetti
Fashion Editor, La Repubblica,

“The selection is very interesting. We are living an exciting moment: designers are trying to define a new gender. Also, the different cultures mix in the collections and that is a positive message. A big thanks to Barbara and her team for doing all this and allowing us to be connected to the younger generations.”

“I am very surprised and moved by the accessories contestants: we have been transported in a world of research and invention, with a use of innovative materials.”

Deanna Ferretti
Maglificio Miss Deanna

“Regarding trends I could see big & oversized clothes as well as no gender differences. I also noticed the use of transparencies in materials. Overall I believe this time the projects were more abstract and experimental and am convinced it is a good direction for this competition.”

“It was a high standard again, there were more creative works. It’s difficult indeed to choose the best 10. However I do believe the selection we did this time will be higher creativity-wise and it is the right direction for ITS. I am absolutely happy with the quality of the selected works.”

Kei Kagami
Fashion Designer & YKK Consultant

“A stunning firework of unstructured energy! I enjoyed the research of transparency and dynamism: everything moves, everything floats, everything vibrates and captures light. Layering of experiences and visual inputs, as if signifying the absolute need to carry along all of one’s private history. One word: Bravo! Another one: Thank you!”

Carlo Giordanetti
Swatch Creative Director

“While diversity and acceptance have always been strong trademarks of design, a new feeling of cohesion has taken the design world by storm, and a new form of identity is being created – one in which gender is no longer relevant. The current mindset has seen gender become indiscernible, if not insignificant, as people reform their identities, shying away from traditional definitions of gender, sexuality and race and embracing an age where style is open to everyone.”

Ute Schumacher
Director Creative Direction & Design Network Swarovski Professional

Harry Eisenberger
Head of Jewelry Design at Swarovski Professional

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