Bilbao International Art&Fashion

November 18, 2020

Katiuscia Gregoire, Kim Yeonghyeon and Christian Padilla, new winners of the 7th International BIAAF Contest for emerging fashion talent.

The organization reinforces its commitment to generating an innovative future and to ensuring that talent, cutting-edge training, creativity and work open up opportunities for young, internationally connected designers. 

Bilbao, November 18th 2020. Outstanding creativity and the future of fashion come together in Bilbao at the 7th Bilbao International Art & Fashion Contest (BIAAF), which awarded its prizes on November 12th in the Edificio Ensanche. This year, the contest has overcome a series of difficulties, and has maintained its firm commitment to young talent and to continuing to generate opportunities, something "now more necessary than ever and decisive in order to offer them a more promising scenario than the current one", as highlighted by the organisation. 

The awards ceremony was broadcasted by streaming, and thusly complied with all the health prevention and seating measures to allow "above all, to share such a special moment with all those who have made it possible for this unique edition to take place", the organisers point out.

"Each collection received from the finalist designers has been a small triumph, a battle won in an extremely complicated situation," stresses the BIAAF organisation, which points out that "each and every one of these collections is a reflection both of an exceptional edition", which will be difficult to forget, and of BIAAF’s commitment to emerging designers. "Together, we hope to build a different future; one that is more humane, inclusive, supportive and sustainable", they highlight. 

The 30 finalists have been chosen from among 1,262 proposals, coming from young talents from 90 countries on all 5 continents. Katiuscia Gregoire (Parsons, U.S.A.) was awarded for the ’Best Outfit Design’ with her collection “Hood Dandy”. Kim Yeonghyeon (Kookmin University, South Korea) was awarded for the ‘Best Accessory Design’ with her collection “Dynamic”, both worth 10,000 Euros. In addition, a special prize recognised the work of the ’Best Emerging Basque Designer’, Christian Padilla, worth 5,000 Euros with his collection “Huasi”.

After the awards ceremony, an exhibition in the Atrium of the Ensanche Building brought together, from November 12th -16th, the 30 finalist works, which have been chosen by an international jury made up of representatives from institutions such as the LVMH Fashion Group, Vogue Talents or the Balenciaga Museum.

Students from 25 fashion schools such as the Royal College of Arts, Central Saint Martin’s, IED, Parsons, FIT, Bunka Gakuen University or Shenkar, among others, as well as young local talents, were selected as finalists in this edition of the contest. The edition and their works have been marked by confinement, with difficulties in accessing the fabrics and textile workshops where they would give shape to their designs.

This year’s works has been marked by different artistic and cultural references, such as the sculptures of Richard Serra, the photographic series ’The Americans’ by Robert Frank, the architectural work of Santiago Calatrava, the novel ’Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad, the painter Claude Monet and the ’concept of the diagram’ by the French philosopher Deleuze. All of these proposals show "the decisive role of emerging designers in a world that is changing", as the organization highlights.

"Edition after edition, among the proposals we see avant-garde and trends that materialize in commercial collections that will be seen in catwalks years later," says the organization of BIAAF, which highlights the commitment that the city of Bilbao makes with each edition of the event "for the creative industries and for an innovative model that brings together art, design, technology and sustainability in a transversal way”.

The close link between fashion, art and culture is precisely the thread of BIAAF’s activity, which, in addition to holding a biannual competition, works to support the work of young designers, give them visibility and offer them a platform to start their careers.

Throughout the 7 editions of the contest, more than 6,000 promising young designers have had a window in Bilbao to show their designs to the world.