Candice brings you back to the FDC Young Designers Award in October. Two up-and-coming designers competed for a chance to win the title of The Radical Designer of the Year 2019 and showcase their collections in New York! The evening was also filled with amazing creatives, makers, and industry professionals looking to network and connect. Candice chatted to some of them on the night.
DESIGNERS: WINNER: SEMRA OZER ÖZRSEM @OZRSEM
MA Fashion student at Kingston University.
“Reinvention of Tradition” (Turkish designs mixed with British scrap leather)
RUNNER UP: ALINA DEORDITA @ALINA_DEORDITA
I’m Alina. I’m from Moldova. It’s a small country between Romania and Ukraine. I came to England one year ago. I’m working like dress making, but I’m doing my course in fashion design and trying to find myself in fashion design. I hope it works!
RUNNER UP: MERCIA BRAGA NORDESTE COUTURE @MERCIABBRAGA/@NORDE STECOUTURE
My name is Mercia Braga. I’m from Brazil, but I lived in New York City for 20 years. I’ve been an artisan since I was 15 years old. I learned the technique myself in Brazil, and I studied fashion business in New York. I graduated fashion design in New York City 3 years ago.
I’ve had my company for 2 years now, so I’m new to the business. I use a lot of techniques from my country. One technique is like a lace made by hand. It’s like a twist step, and you make like a fishnet for the first phase. And then you make flowers. I do a lot of things by hand. I love handmade, so here I am! I just came to London to show my collection.
About Nordeste Couture
When I studied, everything started to go really slow, but then it started to go really fast. I got invitations to show somewhere and participate in business. I started to make a business that people like, and since this is all handmade, I start little because I have to do one by one specific to people, small sizes and colours. I’m not dependant on this, so I can take my time and go slow. I had the option to go to mass production, but I decided to stick with my passion. I love this. People like the many styles. Because my collection is really unique and new, even though the technique is old, I try to introduce something new here in London.
RUNNER UP: ALI JAFAR MESHALI FASHION @MESHALIFASHION
My name is Ali Jafar, and I’m 29 years old. I live in Amsterdam. I have studied fashion and craft making. I have lots of experience with big designers in Holland. This is my first collection.
About the Process and Meshali Fashion
I get inspired by carpets because lots of people have [them] at home, work. Lots of people have their own unique personalities in carpets. I like that it is fitting on the body… when a woman is fitted good on the body, not loose, I like that. I like when a woman wears unique garments and she feels comfortable inside. This is my mission when I have my own brand. She feels sexy and comfortable. It’s not so thin but not so thick. I wanted to be unique and daring. That’s why I choose some garments. I’ve seen lots of shows that are simple. They can have their own personality. But, I want to be a daring designer, that’s why I use carpet. For me, it’s unique. I hope that I can inspire people.