RBIS Discovers Tomorrow’s Leaders of Denim

Amy White, vice president, Marketing, Communications, and Sustainability, RBIS, shares our values to support emerging design talent
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 8:24 pm PDT

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Retail Branding and Information Solutions

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We’re teaming up with ISKO Denim, the world’s number-one producer of premium quality denim, to seek out the next generation of talent in the denim industry. As part of our commitment to supporting emerging designers, we are discovering students’ creativity and ingenuity with ISKO’s iSKOOL Denim Awards. Together, with ISKO, we’ve tasked students to create a complete branding concept for their denim designs.

To hear more about the partnership, we sat down with our own Amy White, vice president, Marketing, Communications, and Sustainability, and innovator behind our emerging talent programs.

What inspired RBIS to partner with ISKO?
Avery Dennison RBIS and ISKO have actually worked together before, partnering last year for our Denim: The Future event, which took place in Los Angeles. Established as a platform to communicate our key findings from our research into consumer buying behavior and denim preferences, the event brought together denim experts from across the world to discuss what the future holds for the denim industry. Partnering with ISKO I-SKOOL felt like a natural step forward and builds on our values to support emerging design talent. Having the opportunity to work with emerging talent is a great way for us to explore how the demands and changes within the industry are impacting denim design, branding and merchandising. We are looking for fresh thinking and innovation and are confident that the schools involved will achieve that brief and drive our industry forward.

What do you think is more important for the students to experience during the competition?
It is really important that the students explore multiple avenues throughout this project, from consumer preferences and industry demands to key trends, use of innovative materials and branding concepts. We are looking for them to combine these insights with their own individual creativity and thinking – this way we should get relevant and fresh concepts. I think the other key experience is working to a commercial brief and to a deadline, which of course in the world of apparel retail and branding is the reality!

Together you hosted a seminar in China in June, educating and preparing finalists to prep their designs. What was the outcome?
It’s inspiring to be in the field with these creators, to see what they bring to life. Two students were shortlisted following the seminar: Wang Xin Tao presented 'Joolegance,' a design that used a new fabric, mixing denim and wool with elegance. Hao Linqi showcased ‘Hearts and Crafts,’ characterized by swirls - a tribute to Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night. She also shared ‘Light Outdoor,’ using denim to produce ready-to-wear athleisure.

We further coached the young designers on branding and embellishment design for the final showcase...look for them on July 15!

How does this project with ISKO shape the future of the denim and fashion sector?
There has been a lot of discussion on what is the future of denim? How will the rise of athleisure impact denim?...And so on. Our studies really demonstrate that denim is, of course, here to stay, but that it will continue to evolve – both in the way consumers respond to brands and in the technical nature of fabrics/branding materials. There are some very exciting technical developments in fabric that are emerging, particularly around stretch and fit, which is key to meeting the industry athleisure trend. But, personally for me, the most interesting development for the future is how to make denim more sustainable - combining innovation and sustainable design with technical advances will be key to the future of the industry.


Stay tuned for more on our innovations and ISKO showcase next month.

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