The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia

From left to right: Tomaso Anfossi & Francesco Ferrari (CO|TE), Tiziano Guardini (Tiziano Guardini), Daniele Calcaterra (Calcaterra), Desiree Bollier (Chair, Value Retail), Mateja Benedetti (Matea BENEDETTI), Leo Macina (Leo Studio Design).


Matea BENEDETTI, Calcaterra, CO|TE, Leo Studio Design and Tiziano Guardini are finalists for The CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition, as part of The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia.

The inaugural competition – a partnership between Eco-Age, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and Value Retail –  challenged emerging designers to pair ethics with aesthetics by creating a bespoke look celebrating Italian craftsmanship and sustainable innovation.


Ten semi-finalists were reduced to five during a nail biting final round held in Paris. Emerging designers were required to present to a panel of fashion-industry grandees and had just minutes to make their impact and explain their interpretation of sustainability in fashion and how they had utilised the Made In Italy supply chain.

The judging panel comprised:

Derek Blasberg (Writer, Editor and Host of the television show ‘CNN Style’) 

Desirée Bollier (Chair, Value Retail Management) 

Carlo Capasa (Chairman, CNMI)

Ruth Chapman (Co-Founder and executive co-chairman, MATCHESFASHION.COM)

Mira Duma (CEO and Founder, Fashion Tech Lab)

Livia Firth (Creative Director, Eco-Age) 

Andrew Keith (President, Lane Crawford)

 Stefan Siegel (Founder, NOT JUST A LABEL)

Sara Sozzani Maino (Deputy Editor in Chief Vogue Italia, Head of Vogue Talents)

Elaine Welteroth (Editor-in-Chief, Teen Vogue)



Matea BENEDETTI has created a look crafted from Apple Skin – a leather alternative created from apple waste from the food industry. This fabric is a unique Italian innovation, created in Bolzano.

Derek Blasberg, Writer, Editor and Host of the television show ‘CNN Style’ said:

“It was the first time i’d ever seen apple leather. Which is a sort of ground breaking idea. We don’t need animals for leather, we can use apples and other food wastes. That’s pretty fabulous.”

CALCATERRA look features “feathers” made by weaving hemp rope, organic cotton organza and silk. Suiting made with TENCEL®, a fibre made from wood pulp, sourced responsibly from sustainable forest plantations and produced in a closed loop process to ensure virtually all water and solvents are continually re-used, powered by renewable energy.

Elaine Welteroth, Editor-in-Chief, Teen Vogue said:

“I thought it was really interesting to see what happens when you give a talented group of designers a challenge like this and ask them to raise the bar. I saw that some of them were pros and have been practicing sustainability for a long time and others were brand new to it. And I think they learned a lot through the course of this challenge. And I did as well, as a judge.”

Look by CO|TE produced in Lombardy, Italy, features organic silk shirting and undergarments crafted from ECONYL- a yarn made from recycled fishing nets and carpets.

Ruth Chapman, Co-Founder and executive co-chairman, MATCHESFASHION.COM, said:

“I believe we’ll be retailing swimsuits made from recycled materials all the things that we’ve seen today are going to impact designers worldwide and I think that the customer is really ready to hear about it”.

 Leo Studio Design look produced in Puglia features printed culottes, backpack and shoes made of ECONYL, a yarn made from nylon waste (including fishing nets and carpets). The printed skirt is made of organic cotton, using no pesticides or fertilisers in the process.

Andrew Keith, President, Lane Crawford said:

“The diversity impressed me today. The fact that each of the designers had taken a very personal approach and stayed very true to their vision and creative execution. They were approaching things from different ways. Some from fabrics, some from sourcing, some from upcycling”.

TIZIANO GUARDINI created his look from organic peace silk and recycled nylon. The dress features hand embroidered “sequins” which are created using upcycled seashells and discarded CDs collected in Italy.

Derek Blasberg, Writer, Editor and Host of the television show ‘CNN Style’ said:

“Another standout for me was Tiziano Guardini. I thought it was super polished, super well finished. And the sequins were made out of crushed CDs. Which made me happy because I have a million CDs and now I know what to do with them. This guy can make me a sequined dress”.

Desirée Bollier, Chair and Chief Global Merchant, Value Retail Management said: “We are delighted to partner with Eco-Age and CNMI on this important initiative, which reflects our support of emerging fashion talent. As they progress towards the global stage, we look forward to mentoring the five finalists and giving them the knowledge to develop their brands on an international scale. The Value Retail Villages in Europe and China present a wonderful platform to showcase their collections, acquainting our discerning guests with the names of tomorrow alongside established world class brands, beginning with The Creative Spot boutique at Fidenza Village.”

“Our goal through this emerging designer competition was not just to find the best talent but to plug that talent into a brilliant network of support and knowledge,” says Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director, Eco-Age. “Through the mentorship scheme with Value Retail we’re offering our finalists, passionate about ecological and social justice a pathway to true sustainability: the ability to be able to grow and sustain their fashion business in the future. Many sustainable designers have not had these opportunities before so we’re hoping it’s a game changer for sustainable design in fashion”.

Carlo Capasa, Chairman, CNMI, said: “The CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition is a beautiful and unique project representing the first part of the first Green Carpet Fashion Awards. This project includes an important educational aspect: sustainability must become one of the characteristics of the future of fashion, clothing and accessories must not only be beautiful and well made, but also sustainable! The end goal will be an authentic cultural revolution made by millennials for millennials”.

The winner of the CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition will receive THE FRANCA SOZZANI GCC AWARD FOR BEST EMERGING DESIGNER, in honor of the late Vogue Italia editor-in-chief who was dedicated to supporting new generations of talent. The recipient will be announced at The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia on Sept 24 at La Scala and will have the invaluable opportunity to present at Milan Fashion Week in February 2018.


The five finalists will each participate in an inspiring and highly immersive 12 month mentoring program with Value Retail. Working with handpicked mentors from across Europe and China, the 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 exclusive prize underscores Value Retail’s longstanding commitment to nurturing and spotlighting the future generation of fashion, art and design talent. The designers will also have their collections featured in The Creative Spot, a pop-up boutique dedicated to showcasing new talent at Fidenza Village, just outside of Milan from October 2017. Furthermore, throughout 2018, the winner’s creations will take centre stage in curated boutiques across Value Retail’s Collection of 11 Villages, a unique platform to reach international audiences on a grand scale.