CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition 2019 Finalists Announced

Clare Press, Laura Brown and Derek Blasberg among judges announcing finalists for the CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition 2019, in which emerging designers from all over the world are challenged to pair ethics and aesthetics ahead of the CNMI Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia 2019. 

Judges including Livia Firth, Carlo Capasa and Clare Press gathered at Hotel Chateau Montford, Italy to select the five rising stars in sustainable fashion eligible to win The Franca Sozzani GCC Emerging Designer Award on stage at La Scala during the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia in Milan on September 22nd 2019. 

The panel was made of international industry experts with a hand in the future of fashion including Eco-Age’s Livia Firth; Camera della Moda’s President Carlo Capasa; Vogue Australia’s sustainability editor-at-large Clare Press; YouTube’s Derek Blasberg; activist Sinead Burke; journalist Laura Brown; Elite Model’s Piero Piazzi; Dyne.Life’s Christopher Bevans and Milano Unica’s Ercole Botto Poala.

Now in its third year, the competition challenges emerging designers worldwide to redefine sustainability in fashion. The contest is part of The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, founded by Camera Della Moda Italia in partnership with Eco-Age. The ceremony showcases the innovation and craftmanship of the fashion supply chain, celebrating Made in Italy. For the first time, the call is also open to accessory designers.

Judges scrutinised entries from short-listed design talent. Innovations on display included ‘Silk Fur’ made from waste silk yarns; padding made from recycled plastic bottles; reclaimed waste fishing nets from Aquafil, creators of ECONYL® regenerated nylon yarn; and wooden ‘eco-leather’; in addition to home touches such as reclaimed materials from designer’s family haberdasheries. Designers worked with experts to develop innovative creations, utilising and building on favoured techniques from the world-famous Italian supply chain.  The textile exhibition Milano Unica helped to supply the finalists with sustainable natural materials.

All designers are challenged to incorporate the Eco-Age Principles of Sustainable Excellence, Eco-Age’s sustainable guidelines, into their bespoke designs together with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s sustainable guidelines. 

Deliberations by the judges saw the 10 semi-finalists whittled down to five finalists, who will attend The Green Carpet Fashion Awards, Italia, on Sept 22nd at the iconic La Scala opera house in Milan. 

“It is a constant surprise to see so many different ways designers incorporates sustainable solutions in their creations,” says Livia. “This year I loved it more than ever as the finalists really pushed some of the solutions to the edge and gave us wonderful solutions to our wardrobes sustainable crisis”

The finalists are:


Italian designer Flavia La Rocca is the founder and designer of flavialarocca, a brand centred on ethical practices, modularity and sustainability. All fabrics in Flavia’s look are natural or regenerated, coloured using natural dyes and using modular design to enable the look to be worn in different combinations, as a comment on the reduction of consumption.

“I started my journey in sustainability when I launched the brand in 2013, so for years I have been selecting suppliers and collaborators that are in line with my values,” says Flavia. “However, working on this project made me stop and ask: what more can I do? So, I started new research and I went to visit the companies I wished to collaborate with to understand who is behind them and how they work, and to see the production processes in person.

“Throughout the design process it was confirmed that we must always question ourselves, be curious, learn and improve. These new learnings will be constantly evolving starting points for me and for the brand.”

Anyango Mpinga

Anyango Mpinga is an eco-innovator who has embraced the principles of circular fashion to explore radical systems in textile design and promote conscious consumption of apparel and accessories. Anyago’s look is made from ‘Silk Fur’ an innovative material created from waste silk yarns which could not be woven into materials. These are normally discarded by factories or woven into carpets. The look is embellished with ‘silk pearls’, created by laser cutting waste silk fabric.

“I want people to know that being an eco-innovator is not just about creating items that are not wearable and put a stop to the assumption that using innovative textiles is not scalable if you want to produce these textiles,” says Anyango. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that sustainable fashion involves using materials that are not beautiful or versatile and that the designs are boring. Most people think it involves taking a material such as old newspapers and creating an outfit from it and voila, that is sustainability and the work is done. Sustainable fashion is so much more than that, it involves addressing the needs of consumers and giving them options they can wear proudly, options that will last in their closets for a long time because they are well made, designs which can be re-imagined if the original purpose for which a garment or textile was created is no longer viable. It’s creating a product that respects the environment, respects people, addresses challenges of waste and also encourages people to be better consumers.”


Edoardo Iannuzzi is a designer whose creativity is driven by the principles of sustainability and responsibility. Travel with work revealed to Giò that space in the suitcase, comfort, and modularity, had not yet been holistically adapted into a single shoe. The shoe design incorporates a patent pending zip system that allows the creation of multiple shoes with a single outsole #thezipshoe in addition to a biodegradable outsole. 

“This project gave me even more strength and energy to work on a project that has been my dream since I was an industrial design student at the Politecnico di Milano: creating the most sustainable sneaker in the world,” says Edoardo.

“Sustainable is what is inserted into a context without affecting it. In my work, sustainability translates into the attempt to create products that are more sustainable than the products already on the market.”

Twins Florence

The Twins Florence collection chooses creativity as a tool to overcome limits and boundaries, mixing art and fashion to give shape to an authentically contemporary aesthetic. Her model of a modern woman blends androgyny and glamour. The brand identity is deeply rooted in the Italian manufacturing tradition. The Twins Florence look has been knitted using certified recycled denim yarn, with rubber bands made from recycled plastic bottles.

“For me, sustainability means above all value and quality: creating garments made to last over time without ever losing their contemporaneity, conceived following a thread of style that allows you to cross each piece of any collection,” says Linda Calugi, designer and creative director of Twins Florence. “Each season has a message that can be reassembled, ascribing it to the past, the present and the future with the same aesthetic force. Being sustainable means reviewing the idea of consumption, ceasing to burn everything in the space of a few seconds, recognizing the value of time condensed in objects: the time to think about them, to produce them, to wear them. For Twins Florence, sustainability is a way of experiencing fashion, which from the attention to materials and quality comes to imagine a new lifestyle that puts time and value back at the centre.”


In 2009, Benedetta Bruzziches and her brother Agiostino launched her line of signature bags. In 2012 the brand opened a factory in the countryside of Tuscia, channelling the tranquil and natural environment to refine their designs and explore the different meanings of sustainability. With a look made from the brand’s production waste, small pieces of recycled PMMA are merged together to create the reimagined pattern of terrazzo. 

“Sustainability means protecting beauty in every area, going back to the point where we got lost, where we took the wrong path,” says Benedetta. “I believe that for a sustainable way of being in the world it is fundamental to restore dignity to the value of the entire human person, bringing meaning back to where insignificance has rooted. Sustainability emerges in our work as a metaphor for the construction of time, history and a collective memory as well as the individual memory within it.” 

The semi-finalists were:


Nicola D’Alpaos developed an interest in fashion from an early age but took his first steps in the fashion sector in 2008 whilst living in London. He created his first capsule collection of t-shirts, which later became the DALPAOS brand. His look comprises recycled fabrics, leather alternatives and low impact printing.


Gin Salemò is a designer, creative director and model based in Milan, founder of the “Made in Italy” fashion brand Gin Salemò. She is dedicated to addressing topics like sexism, human rights and ecology. Her look is made utilising Italian production and materials including an exclusive Italian regenerated cashmere.

Michele Chiocciolini is a designer, a painter and a graphic designer whose eponymous brand Michele Chiocciolini was born from his love of beauty and the constant search for new, diverse expressions of the contemporary. The production of his look uses Italian Murano glass embroidery and boemia glass beads in addition to using one-of-a-kind Italian fabrics produced on a loom designed by Leonardo da Vinci.



Unravelau is a sustainable fashion brand founded in 2017 by Laura Meijering. She tries to only use resources that are not harmful to our world but also allow for maximum reuse and sets an example by making environmentally conscious decisions one step at a time, all the while learning from the past. Her look uses zero waste pattern cutting and natural materials enabling enable easy re-production if the wearer wishes for the garment to be reimagined.


Kexuan Li is a 24-year-old designer from China. He moved to Italy to study leather goods design, graduating from Accademia Costume E Moda, and has worked as an accessory designer for an Italian brand, learning about the craftsmanship of high-end leather goods making. His look includes recycled ocean waste sourced from Aquafil and is detailed with embroidery embellishment using reclaimed materials.

One designer will be announced as the winner of The Franca Sozzani GCC Emerging Designer Award on stage during the Green Carpet Fashion Awards on September 22nd at La Scala and will be given the opportunity to present at Milan Fashion Week in February 2019, supported by Milano Unica.


Learn more about the CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition, and see the looks from the 2018 edition.

Read our interview with Gilberto Calzolari – winner of the 2018 CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition.

Discover the highlights from the GCFA, Italia 2018.