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Korean Designer Taesoon Chai Wins OTB Award At ITS 2021

The winner of the International Talent Support (ITS) emerging designer competition 2021, claiming the main OTB Award was Korean designer Taesoon Chai – emerging victorious from participating 530 entrants from 80 fashion academies in 30 countries who represented 60 nationalities. 

Founded by Barbara Franchin in 2002, the format had been shifted to virtual mode since 2020, owing to the limitations due to the pandemic. The closing ceremony took place on November 19 and was streamed on the ITS website, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Among the finalist entries, Taesoon Chai presented a menswear concept – with an in-depth study on volumes, a simple and straightforward clear design with eight looks, that according to the jury,  was appreciated for their aesthetics and sophistication, a highly wearable and contemporary style that made him the winner of the OTB prize winner. The announcement during the award ceremony was made by the CEO of OTB – Renzo Rosso, an Italian fashion group.

Winners of ITS Responsible Creativity and Lotto Sports Award

ITS Responsible Creativity Award by Allianz was jointly won by Aitor Goicoechea Abruza and Adam Elysasse and was presented with a €10,000 purse, while Hua Hui bagged the top spot and €5,000 cash prize in the newly created category – the ITS Digital Fashion Award.

Winning the  Lotto Sport Award’s third edition was Chinese designer Qingzi Gao while the second and third places were claimed by Tomer Stolbov and Hadar Slassi, both from Israel. These entries required them to create their own personal interpretation of the Lotto Signature tennis shoes in a contemporary mode. The shoes were originally introduced to celebrate José Luis Clerc – a former Argentine tennis professional. An eclectic design blended with futuristic aesthetic and retro printing – Gao won the category and subsequently a chance to intern at the Lotto product development office with the Italian sportswear brand’s design and development team, on a capsule collection.

Ark web series and ITS Arcademy

This year ITS launched the BTA-Building the Ark web series – an initiative consisting of seven films, on three different themes that will be supported by ITS’s main sponsors, one each. Produced by three former ITS finalist, they were – The family (sponsored by OTB), The future (by Allianz), and The heart (by Swatch), which have since garnered over  5 million views since they were streamed online during May-October.

The theme of the competition was chosen to be ‘Costruire l’arca’ (Building the ark) – referring to the “creative ark” ITS has fostered so far in its 20-year journey and to the launch in 2022 of ITS Arcademy. Marking ITS’s 20th anniversary, the design school of the event based on Trieste will open next year and will be accessible to the public. A meeting place for various ITS members like former finalists, jury panelists, and celebrities, the Arcademy will also host many training courses, meetings, and exhibitions.

Speaking at the occasion, was Rosso – whose international fashion group, based out of Breganze, Italy owns DieselMaison Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Marni, Jil Sander among others, says how the group, through initiatives like ITS is constant in encouraging and backing young talents from around the world and the OTB prize is the witness to their commitment to offering all the support to emerging designers and creativity.

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