Tommy Hilfiger Announces Winners of Fashion Frontier Challenge – Sourcing Journal

Tommy Hilfiger has announced the winners of its annual Fashion Frontier Challenge, a global design and innovation program that highlights the work of creatives in the emerging industry.

Designed to identify and promote ideas that create greater inclusiveness in the fashion industry, the three-year program hosted its most recent virtual event from January 12-13. Six finalists submitted their concepts to a jury and two companies – Netherlands-based Lalaland.ai and Rwandan brand UZURI K&Y – were selected as winners, to share a prize pool of $ 228,000. The winners, selected from a group of 430 startups from 22 countries, will also participate in a one-year mentoring program with Tommy Hilfiger experts and the INSEAD graduate business school.

Lalaland.ai’s platform uses artificial intelligence to create ethnically diverse and different sized virtual models that can be used by e-commerce companies. Michael Musandu, co-founder and CEO of the group, described inclusivity as the heart of Lalaland’s vision. “Being part of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge has brought incredible insights and will elevate our AI solution to reach more people than we could have imagined,” he said, adding, “our team is looking forward to offering a a welcoming online shopping experience, so no the consumer feels under-represented “.

UZURI K&Y, meanwhile, produces environmentally friendly footwear using recycled car tires collected from sub-Saharan Africa. The brand employs local women and donates shoes to poorer young people in the region. Co-founder and CEO Kevine Kagirimpundum said UZURI K&Y is “dedicated to generating real impact and inspiring today’s youth to create a cleaner future.”

“This opportunity has provided mentoring, strategic guidance and provided us with a platform to share our dream of bringing sustainable footwear options from Africa to the global market,” he added.

The ideas were submitted to the Fashion Frontier Challenge board of directors in January 2021, and jurors focused on supporting and amplifying the efforts of black entrepreneurs and diverse entrepreneurs during this cycle. For the first time, Tommy Hilfiger fans were also invited to participate in the first stage of the challenge and vote online.

Fans were encouraged to vote at the January event, and a third group received $ 17,000 to take their idea forward. Voters chose Clothes to Good, a social enterprise focused on creating micro-business opportunities and jobs for people with disabilities in South Africa through the recycling of textiles. “It is humbling to know that others believe in our dream of making a real difference for people with disabilities and their families,” said chief operating officer and occupational therapist Tammy Greyling. “We feel lucky to be recognized by the spectators of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, it is an experience we will never forget.”

This year’s jurors included founder Tommy Hilfiger, CEO Martijn Hagman and Executive Vice President for Sustainable Business and Innovation Esther Verburg, along with actor and director Yara Shahidi, adjunct professor and INSEAD entrepreneur Adrian Johnson, al Fashion for Good director Katrin Ley and Yvonne Bajela, founding and principal member of the investment firm Impact X Capital.

“This inspiring challenge has brought together passionate and hardworking individuals with new ideas on how to create a future in fashion that we can all expect,” said Tommy Hilfiger in a statement. “It was an impressive final event and I am proud to continue this journey with entrepreneurs who have presented revolutionary and impactful solutions that challenge the way we think, build and create.”

The Fashion Frontier Challenge will begin accepting applications for its fourth cycle in March.

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