What Inspires Inaugural Fur Design Competition Winners?

 
   
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Fur Design Competition winners

Late last year, the Fur Council of Canada launched the inaugural Fur Design Competition for young designers residing in Canada, and in February the 12 winners were announced. These talented youngsters will shortly be attending a week-long, all-inclusive workshop hosted at Ryerson University in Toronto, under the expert tutelage of designer Farley Chatto.

So what inspires these fledgling designers? Truth About Fur fired the same three questions at each to see what we could learn. Maybe their answers will, in turn, inspire entrants in next year’s competition, who should also read our post Insider Tips from Fur Competition Judges.

Raven Scott

Fur Design Competition winner Raven Scott

Who are you in terms of design?

I am an innovative artist who always tries to put my culture forward in every design that I make. In this way I make every garment that I design personal to me, no matter what the project is.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

I love design because it tells a story and helps bring out a person’s character. Whether it be your mood for the day or your overall aesthetic, how we dress is an expression, and it’s amazing to see how different we all are when expressing ourselves.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

I always like to try new things, and before this competition, I have never worked with fur, nor have I ever designed a fur garment. But I was up for the challenge, and the outcome was more than amazing.

Chelsey Jussaume

Fur Design Competition winner Chelsey Jussaume

Who are you in terms of design?

I design feminine clothing for all people who desire to stand out.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

Fashion has a way of communicating who I am without having to speak. Authenticity and sustainability are at the heart of my designs. I create pieces focusing on garment structure and material manipulation, with the goal of conveying emotion. I often use fur to add uniqueness to a garment, and because it can be recycled many times.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

I entered the contest wanting to challenge myself to create ready-to-wear garments that would please many people while using fur in unconventional ways. To me, natural materials are one of the many solutions to tackle the fashion industry’s climate impact. As a young designer, I acknowledge my responsibility to create clothing that is long-lasting, of good quality and easily upcycled.

Vincent Domingo

Fur Design Competition winner Vincent Domingo

Who are you in terms of design?

In terms of design, I am more into haute couture designs where manipulations, embroideries and embellishments are my kind of detailed finishing.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

Everything around us can be an inspiration in creating our own designs, and that’s what I love about designing. It brings out the beauty in everything and I think the fur itself will give an extra detail to our designs.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

I joined the Fur Design Competition because I want to explore things about fur. I think it has a lot of things to offer, not just about designs but on how to create pieces into it from illustration to construction.

Etienne Levi

Fur Design Competition winner Etienne Levi

Who are you in terms of design?

Futurism, avant-garde, exoticism, empowerment and seduction usually inspire my designs.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

Fashion and design in general always reflected the Zeitgeist. Through time, designers of the world have shown their culture through their own hands and eyes. I believe that we are now living in a world that is finally focusing on its problematics. There is now a bright light shining on our over-consuming habits and their effects on nature. I believe as an aspiring designer that it is finally time to understand the ravaging effects of massive production and start to slow down. Future Fashion needs to be more ecofriendly, more valuable, and more inclusive. Fur is an amazing material to achieve these goals.

Furthermore, one can always work with old fur to regenerate another completely different product. There is no waste because it is possible to work with leftovers to create jewelry, accessories or make a completely new fur plate that can be used to cut another garment later. For all these reasons and for its unique softness and warmth, I believe fur is one of the best sustainable materials to design with.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

Working already with fur for about a year, I have learned to make designs with it. I wanted to show my own vision of the theme “Future Heritage”, that inspired me a lot. In addition, the reward really convinced me to participate. Indeed, it is not so difficult to include fur in my garments, but it has important inherent characteristics to think of. I really wanted to be invited to the intensive practice in Toronto not only to get better at sewing and crafting fur, but also to learn tips from professionals on how to cut it, how to spot flaws, and how to improve the quality of the product in general to avoid using too much.

Hannah Walkes

Fur Design Competition winner Hannah Walkes

Who are you in terms of design?

I am someone who likes to explore the natural aspects of design and integrate nature into my designs.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

I love the freedom to make my visions and contemplate how I can make my vision a reality. I think fur would add a flair to my designs, and I would try to expand my natural designs to have a more animalistic side to them.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

I wanted to partake in the competition because I have always wanted to learn about different types of furs and try and bring back the use of fur into everyday life.

Yassine Touati

Fur Design Competition winner Yassine Touati

Who are you in terms of design?

I am an accessories and jewelry designer. My design emanates from three essential elements: passion for the material, power of the color, and structure of the shape/symbolic of the pattern. It marries craftsmanship and technology, finding innovative ways to shape and sculpt the primary medium, always conscious of its fascinating physical properties and cultural dimensions.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

I love the creative process of bringing to life ideas and designs with all the challenges and excitement of innovation. I enjoy creating a story and stepping outside of my comfort zone. Fur, its history, and heritage have inspired me. My primary working medium is leather in all its diversity and potential, and spontaneously I sensed a form of a natural dialogue between leather and fur. Fur is the continuation of my journey working with beautiful, sustainable raw materials. Fur is changing my design approach, my understanding of 3D modeling. I have reached excellence in leather, and I would like to achieve that in fur and marry the two materials together in beautifully crafted and designed winter accessories.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

I have always been fascinated with fur as a material, and I admired the late genius, Karl Lagerfeld. He marveled with fur design for over 50 years at Fendi. As a young designer who recently moved to Montreal, when I read about the Fur Council of Canada competition, I decided to submit my candidacy as a new adventure and a daring opportunity to create and innovate using fur. Despite the challenging times around the world and the fur industry’s uncertain future, I have tremendous faith in the future laying ahead for fur design in technology and innovation and the fur industry in business development and especially sustainability. Fur will remain as emblematic of Canada and Canadian heritage as the maple leaf/syrup. I aspire to carry out creativity and innovation in fur design for my generation as a Canadian haute couture, artisanal and prestigious industry.

Austin Bergeron

Fur Design Competition winner Austin Bergeron

Who are you in terms of design?

I am constantly focused on shape, fit and silhouette. Proposing new shapes and silhouettes is the only thing that fuels my need and desire to design. To be honest, it’s the only reason I’m here, because it’s the one main aspect of design that I’m good at.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

Design gives us an opportunity to reinterpret how we, as humans, represent ourselves. This is one of the reasons why I love design. We get to infuse our feelings and emotions into our designs which help us incapsulate a certain shape or feel. Fur represents an array of these different feelings and emotions, warmth, luxury, comfort, etc. Therefore, designing with fur opens the door to new schools of thought.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

Design competitions give students an opportunity to showcase their skills and I wanted to showcase mine. Although I’ve never worked with fur, I felt that it was an interesting design element, and it sparked a lot of inspiration within me. I’m extremely happy that I entered the Canadian Fur Atelier design competition and look forward to entering more in the future.

Vishali Sitharthan

Fur Design Competition winner Vishali Sitharthan

Who are you in terms of design?

I am an aspiring designer looking forward to learning and creating new innovations.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

Designing makes me feel alive and powerful. Putting my ideas and thoughts together inspires me to thrive more. Designing and creating garments taught me to be patient; all good things take time to make, like how it takes nine months for a baby to come out. It takes time. Every time I make something, I feel like I am giving birth to a baby; I thoroughly enjoy every process and aspect of my creation. Moreover, I think using fur gives dimension and interesting texture to my ideas. It also elevates the look of my design and brings luxury with a timeless look.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

The challenge and complexity of the competition attracted me to do research. As a student, I have significantly fewer possibilities to work with fur and do research about it. This competition gave me a chance to do so. While participating in this competition, I had an excellent opportunity to learn about different techniques and finish of fur. I was also excited about the workshop to learn about fur; knowledge of working with skin can improve my garment skills.

Prudence Mekongue

Fur Design Competition winner Prudence Mekongue

Who are you in terms of design?

I am a designer who loves creating classic looks while incorporating sustainable fashion, be it through upcycling or recycling materials.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

Design is a form of expression. While its an outlet, my design process is a chaotic space where I get to learn something new and challenge myself.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

Firstly, I love fur because it reminds me of my heritage. The competition gave me room to translate why I love fur by using the theme “Future Heritage”. I therefore entered the competition because this theme redefines what I interpreted as purposeful design for the future.

Carson Feng

Fur Design Competition winner Carson Feng

Who are you in terms of design?

I am a designer that focuses on modern silhouettes that balance simple elegance with creative intricacy.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

I love solving problems through design and being able to bring my imagination into reality. This is especially true for fashion design. Working with fur makes me more sustainably-conscious, being more considerate of fashion’s impact on our planet and how we as young designers intend to navigate this problem.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

Fur is a unique textile that is important to Canadian ancestry, and I wanted to prove my skills as a Canadian designer.

Erica Lugt

Fur Design Competition winner Erica Lugt

Who are you in terms of design?

I am resilient, healing doing my part reconciling through the love of indigenous fashion!

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

Fur is sexy; imagine tying in your ancestral designs with a modern twist!

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

To gain skills to create modern sustainable clothing while inspired by our traditional designs.

Olivia Chislett

Fur Design Competition winner Olivia Chislett

Who are you in terms of design?

I am 23 and up till now have only done designs for fun, heavily based around my culture.

What do you love most about design, and how do you think fur can elevate your work?

I love the different ways you can express beauty and ideas with designs, and the sheer amount of variety that comes when people of different backgrounds are able to share their designs. Nature has made such beautiful and unique things through fur, and fur is so deeply steeped in many cultures’ traditional clothing. Adding fur adds a sense of quality, beauty, and comfort to the clothing.

What inspired you to enter the Fur Design Competition?

I’m always very excited about indigenous futurism, and loved the idea of sharing some designs. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give things a shot and share some designs.

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