Last night, fashion department store Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf

celebrated the prelude to this year’s edition of the Designer for Tomorrow (DfT) Award with the competition’s new patron Stella McCartney in Berlin. During a cocktail event in the impressive surrounding of the former church building St. Agnes, the award’s five finalists were introduced. They had been chosen out of 350 applicants from all over Europe by McCartney and the DfT jury. More than 300 guests, including model Franziska Knuppe and actors Alexandra Neldel and Sönke Möhring, attended the event.

Ioana Ciolacu Miron (London College of Fashion, UK), Katy Clark (Northumbria University, UK), Hannah Kuklinski (HS Hannover, Germany), Annalena Skörl Maul (HAW Hamburg, Germany) and Jamie Wei Huang (Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, UK) will be given the chance to show their collections at the final award show in context of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin on July 3rd, 2013. The five design youngsters will also be taken backstage to Stella McCartney’s next fashion show in Paris to get a better understanding of the industry.

The five finalists each with one of their outfits
The five finalists each with one of their outfits

McCartney said she was excited to see what the candidates will come up with in the next few months and advised the youngsters to stay true to themselves and believe in their work. She added: “Looking at the new generation, I hope fashion is going in the direction of perhaps being a bit more sustainable and responsible in the way that it approaches business. It is possible to be responsible and still create a luxury brand! Be informed, get information and make conscious decisions about how you want to change the world through your work! It’s not all about pretty dresses and pretty handbags; you can have a message as well!”

The Peek & Cloppenburg KG, Düsseldorf has been hosting the DfT award since 2009. During the past years, American designer Marc Jacobs has been the patron of the competition. John Cloppenburg, part of the department store’s management board, said: “DfT has taken a great development. When we started out, it was just a small event and now we really have seen a great increase in the quality of people applying. I sincerely hope it’s just one step along the road and that in the next five, ten, twenty years we will look back and see that we’ve been able to give young designers the possibility of first being designers for tomorrow, becoming designers for today.” He also highlighted that at DfT, the finalists do not only get their own fashion show at Berlin Fashion Week but that they also benefit from an advisory board that can help them along in both creative and business matters.