Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge – London Fashion Week 2013

 The Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge held this year at London’s luxurious Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, is a prestigious event that challenges the most elite group of international designers to compete for a designer marketing package worth over $10,000 USD.

This exclusive opportunity allows the winner to showcase at a major Fashion Week show either in USA, UK or Dubai, be featured on multiple global trade publications and to be introduced to multiple upscale boutiques in Europe. All selected designers will be marketed to over 500K people globally with extensive marketing efforts and include partnerships with major fashion media companies.

The four finalists competing in The Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge 2013 already boast significant talent, in both the creativity and business factors of their collections. The designers, Nina Athanasiou, Elena Jones, Shefali Couture and Hope Wade, have each been picked for the challenge by successfully creating high quality, high fashion collections which are already reaching a small to moderate global audience respectively.

The Designers

Nina Athanasiou 

Mother of two Nina Athanasiou studied fashion design in school, she then founded her eponymous line at the end of 2008. When forming a collection Nina gathers new inspiration through her everyday life. She says, “Whether it’s architecture, movies, theatre, street life, street art or even travel or childhood memories. Quite often, materials can be an inspiration for a certain design – you only have to open your mind and be perspective for everything that comes your way.”

Nina Athanasiou’s designs serve as a form of communication. She elaborates, “It gives us the possibility to express ourselves as individuals, to distinguish ourselves. Every morning, we decide how we want to be seen by others and dress ourselves accordingly. Fashion reflects our attitude, our interests, our personality and the time. It expresses desire and is a testimonial to the gift of human beings to reinvent themselves over and over again.”

Her edgy but wearable collection impressed the judges this year, by showcasing a wide range of versatility, texture and movement, Nina proved that she is capable of creative modern couture for everyone.

See her collection at Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge – London Fashion Week 2013 below.

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Elena Jones- Lococina

Lococina is the brainchild of Elena Jones, a line she started in 2010. Fashion has been her passion from a young age, which saw her sketching dresses and sewing as a young child in her home in Central Russia.

Elena’s childhood was spent  growing up backstage of an opera theatre amongst singers and actors, it was here she began drawing inspiration for her future life’s work using the costume, wigs and backdrops as a starting point for her creativity. She also incorporates Byzantine heritage mixed with Mediterranean cultures into her work, drawing from her 12 year migration to Greece.

Elena uniquely blends period fashion with modernism to achieve a feminine style that appeals to her customers needs, she has the added of skill- set of a jewellery line which compliments her designs, combining a punk theme with an organic and natural nouveau style.

She says, “I draw inspiration from everything I see around me. Sometimes its nature, other times it’s architecture, cinema or paintings”. 

She uses textiles such as, wools, silk crepe de chine and denim and as a method to create interest in her pieces and break up block colours. Elena’s method is to create versatile and practical high fashion pieces which can be emphasised with beautiful pieces of her jewellery, which in turn can change the look of a piece completely.

Elena’s ability to combine androgynous shapes with feminine fabrics allows easy edginess to everyday fashion. The ‘throw on’ style allows for a luxurious style with minimal effort yet maximum impact.

See her collection at Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge – London Fashion Week 2013 below.

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Shefali Couture

Based in Dubai, Shefali Chawla Vohra launched her own clothing line, for both men and women in 2011. Her fashion forward line incorporates traditionally ethnic evening wear with a modern twist.

Shefali says, “Designing comes from my soul, the idea was instilled by my mother, who saw this in me. I have always wanted to reach out to the world with my ideas, to take ‘ethnicity’ into global fashion forwardness.”  

Her previous work has seen the transformation of traditional Indian clothing such as the Sari, Sharara and Nehru Jacket.  Shefali combines her penchant for retaining both versatility and comfort into her designs whilst incorporating modernity to a tradition fashion.   

Shefali expresses the importance of designing for the plus size women. She emphasizes, “Hiding your flaws is not the answer, conforming fabrics and colours that accentuate your plus points is.”  

The intricate details and contrast of fabrics and colours definitely bought a fresh flavour to traditional Indian evening wear, Sari’s were worn with contrasting leather details, and dresses were done in a variety of fabrics far removed from the traditional.

See her collection at Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge – London Fashion Week 2013 below.

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Hope Wade

In 1991 Hope Constance Cecile Wade was faced with a dilemma common to most folk whenever trying to impress at a glamorous event. Needing an outfit for New Years and still unemployed, Hope did something uncommon to most fashion savvy people in this situation; she, along with the help of a friend, created her very own outfit from scratch.

The dress she created for the event was well received and word soon spread, orders began to pile in and the rest is history.

Currently her designs are being published for Caribbean students to use in their exams. Her pieces have been on the front cover for Flair magazine, whilst also collaborating with supermodels such as Sedene Blake and Januel McKenzie.

Hope’s creativity stems from the Jamaican culture.  In 2011 her collection celebrated the importance of being a woman by creating feminine and sophisticated designs that pushed boundaries whilst retaining practicality.

Since then, the self taught seamstress has incorporated Jamaica’s independence into her designs by mixing gold, black, and green materials such as netting, taffeta and sequins sourced in the country. She adds, “I love fabrics and just by looking at different materials I can instantly get a design”. Hope is never afraid to express her creativity through her collection and states, “I think a designer needs to stay current, be open to new ideas, I think she needs to be aware of moving trends and what the industry is calling for.”

Hope’s work has featured at a number events including, Caribbean Fashion Week, Harlem Fashion Week and Irie Fashion Rave.

See her collection at Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge – London Fashion Week 2013 below

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 As with all competitions, there can only be one winner, and, although all of the designers showcased an amazing creative mind and sharp attention to detail, the judges finally deliberated to announce Nina Athanasiou as the winner of Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge 2013.

She won, not only with her beautiful collection, but through quick fire rounds of heavy questioning from the judges about her hopes for the future, her ethics and overall attitude to her work and to life. In all, she showcased why she should truly deserved the top spot in an extremely competitive environment. 


She takes with her a designer marketing package worth over $10,000 USD, an exclusive opportunity to showcase at a major Fashion Week show either in USA, UK or Dubai, features in multiple global trade publications and introductions to multiple upscale boutiques in Europe.

Other designers to grace the runway included Rene K, the designer for Kate Middleton and Barack Obama’s daughter, Kelly Ewing, designer for X Factor  and Norwegian designer Rudy Wolff. Their collections pushed the boundaries of current and classic fashion trends, whilst injecting a ‘Best of British’ uniqueness.

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In all, the event was a huge success, with industry professionals, fashionista’s and budding designers attending from all over the globe. The Emerging Fashion Trend Challenge is a great opportunity for new designers to experience the competitive environment of runway and to challenge themselves as individuals, this year’s finalists did not disappoint, they are a shining example of the talent and inspiration ordinary people hold, with a bit of hard work, that talent manifests itself into the beautiful an awe inspiring thing that is ‘high fashion’. We look forward to the next one!

One thought on “Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge – London Fashion Week 2013

  1. The show was phenomenally. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, the hard work and dedication paid off when the designer, Nina Athanasiou won the Emerging Trends for 2013. I was extremely happy that I was her Make up Artist Taz Mua.:)

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