I love when Canadian retailers bring practical competitions to our fashion design schools. It’s great for everyone involved; the retailer gets a chance to scope out some potential new talent to hire after graduation and the participating students get the opportunity to be judged by industry professionals and an incredible opportunity for national exposure.
This is the second successive year of the Danier Design Challenge with the Ryerson School of Fashion. Over 65 student designers submitted sketches, and the top 10 finalists (Jessica Tep, Stephanie MacNeil, Yvonne Lin, Young Kwon, Sisi Jiang, Robyn Gemzik, Meghan Erin, Andrea Dineen, Melissa Calixte, and Stefanie Ayoub) were invited to create their leather garments which were then placed on www.danierdesignchallenge.com for the public to vote for their favourite.
“We are excited to see that the second year of our DANIER DESIGN CHALLENGE with Ryerson University’s School of Fashion has once again unveiled such amazing young talent. We hope that this competition will serve as the Canadian public’s first introduction to the next generation of great Canadian designers,” said DANIER CEO, Jeffrey Wortsman.
A group of family, faculty and industry gathered at the school on Thursday, January 13th to find out who won. Having a hard time selecting the top three, the judges decide to split the third prize of $2,000 between Robyn Gemzik from Calgary and Meghan Erin from Edmonton; the second place prize of $3,000 was awarded to $3,000 Ottawa native, Jessica Tep, and the first place honours and $5,000 prize went to Andrea Dineen from London, Ontario. Along with the prize money, Dineen’s design will be produced and sold at select DANIER stores across Canada in the Fall and she has a paid internship at DANIER with their in-house design team.
“I am extremely honoured to have my work chosen as the winner of this competition; I am thrilled at the thought that my design will be on sale at DANIER this fall and can’t wait to see it being worn on the street,” Andrea Dineen said of her win.
The judges included Robert Ott, Chair, Ryerson’s School of Fashion, DANIER’s Chief Merchandising Officer, Olga Koel, Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker, fashion stylist George Antonopoulos and Tiyana Grulovic, Fashion Editor at the Globe and Mail.
Here Andrea Dineen showcases her design:
View more videos from all the finalists here.