The CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition 2018

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Left to right: Petra Nemcova, Livia Firth, Christopher Bevans, Camille Charriere, Hu Bing, Carmen Busquets, Edward Enninful, Ellie Goulding, Derek Blasberg, Desiree Bollier, Jenke Ahmed Tailly, Natalie Kingham, Carlo Capasa. 

Edward enninful, ellie goulding, derek blasberg and petra nemcova among some of the judges announcing finalists for fashion’s biggest sustainable design contest.

Edward Enninful, Ellie Goulding, Derek Blasberg, Petra Nemcova, Camille Charriere, Natalie Kingham, Carmen Busquets, Jenke Ahmed Tailly, Livia Firth, Carlo Capasa, Desirée Bollier and Hu Bing were among the illustrious judges* who today selected the finalists for the second edition of The CNMI Green Carpet Talent competition.

The competition challenges emerging designers worldwide to redefine sustainability in fashion, drawing on the Italian supply chain. The competition which is part of The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, is supported by The Bicester Village Shopping Collection by Value Retail.

Judges scrutinised entries from short-listed design talent. Innovations on display included sequins laser cut from used plastic bottles; rhubarb tanned leather; graphite upcycled from the tech industry used as a substitute for chemical dyes and a dress made from Jute bags purchased from Navigli market in Milan. [These jute bags are typically sold in Milan to be used as water barriers to stop floods from canals which is an increasing issue due to rising water levels caused by global warming].

‘This year’s entrants are making deep connections,’ said Carlo Capasa, President Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, ‘that run into the Italian supply chain but also offer commentary and in a way solutions to the global plastic pandemic or climate change. Young designers invested in sustainability are pushing the limits of fashion further every year. It is stunning to see.’

‘The design talent and innovation this year has blown me away’, said Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director, Eco-Age. ‘The designers we’ve seen are not only highlighting traditional Italian craftsmanship but also creating their own materials when they can’t find sustainable solutions on the market. Through their creativity, drive and passion they are setting a clear challenge to the wider industry.’

The designers also focused on the Handprint of Fashion, collaborating with Italian artisan groups, specialising in hand-painting and embroidery.

Deliberations by the judges, saw the 10 semi-finalists whittled down to five finalists.

The five finalists will attend The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, dubbed ‘The Oscars of Fashion’ by the industry, on Sept 23rd at La Scala which will close Milan Fashion Week. The event has been dubbed ‘The Oscars of fashion,’ by the industry. Last year attendees included Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell, Dakota Johnson, Anna Wintour, Tom Ford, Andrew Garfield, Zoe Saldana and Lauren Hutton.



WRAD’s look was created from ‘mint fabric’ made from 50% mint bamboo viscose and 50% GOTS certified organic cotton, manufactured in Pistoia, Italy. The look features recycled graphite dyeing, created with recycled graphite powder substituting chemical dyes with a natural and non-toxic mineral otherwise disposed of in landfill.


Teatum Jones created a dress made from Fil Coupe made in Italy from recycled polyester and Lenzing Modal (a low impact fabric derived from responsibly sourced wood), lined with recycled polyester and embellished with laser cut sequins made from recycled plastic water bottles and painted with natural pigment paints. The coat has been made from hand woven Baoule Kente Ikat fabric sourced via Piece & Co., a social enterprise helping to empower communities around the world, as well as archive and past season reused fabrics, and lined with old printed strike-offs.


Behno’s gown was created by deconstructing and reconstructing unused garments, combined with luxurious GOTS certified organic silk and ECONYL® regenerated nylon, a yarn made by recycling discarded fishing nets and carpets.


Davide’s look includes a cape covered in silk ‘feathers’, laser cut from silk which has ben naturally dyed. The gown features Italian hand embroidery by Pino Grasso, a master of fine embroidery, and hand-painted designs ‘stamperie verga’ using onion skin, logwood, and walnut shell, completed with ReSequins – sequins laser cut from plastic bottles.


Gilberto’s look has been created from used jute coffee bags, originally from Brazil. These sacks were purchased from the navigli market, which is a Milanese street filled with vintage stalls. The bags are sold in Milan to use as water barriers to stop canals flooding, which is an increasing issue due to climate change. The dress is lined with an archive fabric and embellished with Swarovski Advanced Elements lead free crystals.

One designer will be announced as the winner of The Franca Sozzani GCC Emerging Designer Award on stage at La Scala and will be given the opportunity to present at Milan Fashion Week in February 2019, supported by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana.

The five finalists will embark on a mentorship programme with The Bicester Village Shopping Collection by Value Retail. Working with handpicked mentors from across Europe and China, the five finalists will benefit from global expertise in fashion, retail, supply chain management, consumer insight, brand building, tourism, marketing and distribution to help them reach their true creative and commercial potential. The designers will also have their collections featured in The Creative Spot, a platform dedicated to showcase new talents at Fidenza Village, just outside of Milan.

Desirée Bollier, Chair – Value Retail Management, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Eco-Age and Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI). The CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition is an important initiative that reflects the commitment of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection® to discovering and nurturing emerging design talent. The creativity and ingenuity I have witnessed has been inspiring. The agenda of the future is in the hands of such talent. The Bicester Village Shopping Collection’s mission is to mentor such talented individuals. Our retail and business mentorship is bespoke in order to address their individual needs so as to translate their vision into commercial and sustainable success. We look forward to working with the next generation of finalists.”

Last year’s winner, Italian designer Tiziano Guardiani said “Winning the competition has totally changed my life. This special project has allowed me to grow creatively as a designer and has also provided me with the tools, priceless industry connections and essential business advice to build my brand, sustainably of course!”.

More images from the judging day available here, interviews with designers and judges available on request.