Finnish Designers Steal the Show at Hyeres Festival

The Finnish designing trio consisting of Elina Laitenen, Tiia Siren and Siiri Raasakka took home the gold at the 27th edition of the Hyeres International Festival of Photography and Fashion. Their victory earned them the main prize, which was sponsored by L’Oreal Professional.

Through parallel fashion and photography competitions, the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyères, directed by Jean-Pierre Blanc since its creation 20 years ago, gathers every year under the spotlight ten young fashion designers and ten young photographers under the patronage of an international jury.

The competition consisted of ten designing teams who showcased their best pieces on the runway. The Finnish team, all students from the Aalto University of Arts in Helsinki, won the first prize, which included a cash sum of $19,900 along with the distinguish title of being the top up and coming designers.

The festival was a chance for 10 aspiring designing teams from all walks of life to showcase their collection to fashion recruiters as well as to the public for some much needed exposure.

The jury comprised of an international team of accomplished designers headed by Yohji Yamamoto. The jury selected the Finnish team as the winner based on their collection of men’s wear that featured a unique touch of rave-inspired culture, the creative use of colors and futuristic styling. Part of the Finnish trio’s collection included a 55 pound sweatshirt covered in Swarovski crystals.

With the victory come big expectations and heavy shoes to fill. Past years’ winners include notable and renowned designers, such as Felipe Oliveira Baptista and Viktor & Rolf.

Other winners in the festival included designer Steven Tai of Canada, who received first place and won the inaugural Chloe prize for his collection of women’s wear. Also in the draw was Ragne Kikas from Estonia who won the public vote and the Premiere Vision Prize.

The festival marks the rise of the next generation of designers trying to make their name known in the fashion industry. With their youth and innovative designs comes a new line of apparel that younger consumers can identify with.