This year, the International Talent Support Awards took a different form. While the award show is typically a festive occasion held live in Trieste, this year, the circumstances of the pandemic took the award ceremony to a digital platform, with a jury awarding finalists their awards as they streamed in live from afar.
While the form of the award show may have been different, the designers celebrated by the ceremony brought the same level of talent and drive that we’ve come to expect from the ITS Awards. Olivia Rubens took home the ITS Responsible Fashion Award for her responsibility-minded experimental knitwork. Noa Baruch delighted the jury with an experimental take on denim, earning the Diesel Award in the process. Additionally, Felipe Fiallo received the ITS Fondazione Ferragamo Award for his work combining sustainable materials, comfort and design.
For the 2020 awards, the esteemed jury was composed of an eclectic blend of talents from across the creative spectrum ranging from people like singer/songwriter Mika to figures like Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art, and Tim Blanks, editor-at-large with The Business of Fashion.
Another name that sticks out from the jury is Stefania Ricci, Director of Museo Salvatore Ferragamo and Fondazione Ferragamo. As an experienced curator with previous studies in Art History, Ricci understands the labour and history that goes into every designer’s work. In her work with Fondazione Ferragamo, she emphasises and celebrates this effort; for this reason and others, in 2019 she was appointed as a member of the Study Commission to identify public policies for the protection, conservation, enhancement and use of Italian fashion as cultural heritage.
Schön! spoke to Ricci about the awards ceremony and how Felipe Fiallo came to be selected as the winner of the ITS Fondazione Ferragamo Award.
What traits do you look for in an ITS Award Winner?
The essential traits for a winner are creativity and sense of reality combined together. Projects must not be just artistic exercises which in the end turn out to be fruitless.
So what struck you about Felipe Fiallo, the winner of the ITS Fondazione Ferragamo Award?
What struck me the most was the real research into the use of sustainable materials and also the knowledge of the rules behind the construction of a shoe, such as comfort.
How does something like the ITS Awards help the global fashion community?
ITS Awards is an initiative managed and coordinated extremely well. You never feel like you are in front of very young and unknown designers. The space given to projects and the way to enhance them immediately communicates the powerful importance of creativity and ideas, even free from preconceptions. ITS Awards represents an extraordinary container where it is possible to guess the future paths of fashion.
Why do you think celebrating the art of fashion is so crucial in this moment?
I believe that, even more than the art of fashion, innovation and research in fashion are important aspects to celebrate at this time. That’s what we need today. Prominent companies and designers seem to have no time to dedicate to these two aspects which are so fundamental for the growth and development of the sector and for people’s well-being. Pure fashion, expressed by young people who are not yet conditioned by commercial aspects, has the merit of intuiting and anticipating the needs of humanity before it even becomes aware.