From Iceland — Reykjavík Runway

Reykjavík Runway

Published August 16, 2011

Assistants Of Fashion

Reykjavík Runway
Photo by
Julia Staples

Assistants Of Fashion

Reykjavík Runway, Iceland’s first fashion consultancy, has provided a fantastic design competition with a twist: where a group of PR and marketing mentors have come together to nurture the nation’s young talents.

To understand the relevance of Reykjavík Runway, you first need to know a brief history of the fashion industry in Iceland. The contemporary fashion scene is a new concept for design and craft traditionalists.  The fashion community has found a constant struggle in defining the difference between craft and couture. This has led to debates and slight conflicts from the different generations.

When The Icelandic Fashion Council was founded in 2001, fashion began to distance itself from craft and be taken more seriously within the design community. However, support for the profession was never abundant and some fashion designers say it was not until Steinunn Sigurðardóttir was awarded Reykjavík’s Artist of the Year in 2009 that fashion design truly got the status it deserved.

Now in 2011, the young scene has grown at an incredible pace with events such as The Reykjavík Fashion Festival (RFF) and Design March gaining international reputations. The mood in the fashion scene has begun to change—closer collaborations are developing with stronger support networks, and a sense of solidarity is now being felt.

Taking all these elements into consideration, it’s not surprising that Reykjavík Runway is blooming just in the right season and springing up to help the fashion industry and its young talents.

The original idea of Reykjavík Runway started from a small and informal design workshop held by CEO, Ingibjörg Gréta Gísladóttir. The group of de-signers were asked: what do you really need in order to grow and develop your career?

Through their collective efforts and discussions, there seemed to be several missing links within the industry, whether it was marketing, funding, costs or manufacturing.

Ingibjörg began to think of ways she could help support the fashion community through her own personal experience. Her humble intention was to work with designers, considering their point of views and improving their difficulties. She created the competition to excite designers into the company’s innovative service.

EYGLÓ – A vibrant designer with a flare for dynamic shapes. She has worked under some legendary contemporary designers such as Will Bernhard Helm and Jeremy Scott.

ROSA-BRYNDIS design – Launching their brand in 2010, the duo say they take their inspiration from architectural and organic shapes. The designer’s handpick their material with care, as well as giving delicate finishes to the garments.

SHADOW CREATURES – The sisters contrast the soft, femininity of their silks and woollen materials with their dynamic animalistic prints, working closely with the concept of narrative within their brand.

ZISKA – Her intense illustrative textures and spiritualistic elements connect her work as an artist and designer. once described her work as having “a slightly more sinister take on tribalism…”.

Each designer is given two months to produce a 2012 spring/summer collection with a budget of 150.000 ISK. The Collection will then be presented to a panel of expert judges in the form of a “catwalk-off” and exhibition.

The selected panel of judges will be from The Icelandic Fashion Council. One designer will be chosen to receive the 500.000 ISK prize and their own Reykjavík Runway personal design agenda. Bring a butterfly net to catch the beautiful styles!

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