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FIT students win Loro Piana competition 2023

By Aéris Fontaine


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FIT students Sumin An and Blake Dewitt. Image: Loro Piana

Italian luxury brand Loro Piana, owned by LVMH Group, has announced the two winners of the seventh edition of its competition. Sumin An and Blake Dewitt, students at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, won the prize.

The winners will receive a scholarship and a job contract at Loro Piana. They will also receive guidance from Loro Piana's knitting workshops to help them create their designs. The final pieces will be exhibited at knitwear fair Pitti Filati, which will take place in Florence from 28 to 30 June 2023.

For the seventh edition of the competition, the theme was "Regenerate". Participants were invited to share their creative vision, taking into account present-day issues such as sustainability and the reuse of materials. Students from six participating schools competed: the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Donghua University in Shanghai, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, IUAV University in Venice and the Institut Français de la Mode in Paris.

Loro Piana challenged the students to give new life to its exclusive yarns and materials. To do this, the Italian brand invited them to its workshops to learn about the brand's craftsmanship. The participants were also able to work with the brand's research and development team on the treatment of wool, one of the brand's flagship materials.

Loro Piana Knit Design Award Competition. Image: Loro Piana

The students presented their projects at an event held at Loro Piana's headquarters in Milan on April 6, 2023. The jury, in charge of evaluating them, consisted of the Italian brand's CEO Damien Bertrand and other fashion professionals including Sara Sozzani Maino, creative director of the Fondazione Sozzani and education and scouting advisor for Vogue Italia. Jordan Anderson, editor-in-chief of NSS Magazine, branding consultant and author Andrea Batilla and Giuliana Matarrese, fashion and lifestyle journalist completed the expert jury.

Launched in 2016, the Loro Piana Knit Design Award recognises the talent of young fashion students. In a statement sent to FashionUnited, the Italian fashion house said: "Loro Piana is proud of this initiative, which aims to preserve and enhance its know-how, while passing on to the younger generation a passion for excellence and facilitating their entry into the job market.

”By opening its doors to young talent in this way, the company aims to reduce the distance between education and the skills sought by companies, by establishing a concrete and structured link with professional schools and universities.”

Founded in 1924, Loro Piana is a luxury house specialising in the production of premium quality cotton and cashmere textiles. It has been owned by the LVMH group since 2013. The company currently has 171 shops around the world, assuring it an international presence.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and editing from French into English: Veerle Versteeg.

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