The IYDC (International Young Designers Contest), one of the largest and most influential professional competitions in Eastern and Central Europe, will take place on October 5-9, featuring a brand new unique format.

This year, due to the unprecedented global situation with COVID – 19, IYDC events will be organized totally online. The IYDC team believes that the online format is consistent with the current global circumstance while providing young talented designers with opportunities for new experiences of working in the realities of today.  

The contest is organized by the Ukrainian Fashion Council with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. IED – Istituto Europeo di Design is the IYDC partner and co-organizer of the online Fashion Visual Art Residence. Ukrainian Fashion Week was responsible for developing the contest’s new visual identity.

IYDC 2020 will bring together the best young designers, representing countries of Central and Eastern Europe first and foremost. Each designer is the winner of the national young designer competition in their respective countries, what ensures the highest caliber of young talents. As a result of this unique selection process, the IYDC always attracts the attention of the international fashion community.

Thirteen countries have confirmed their participation in IYDC 2020. In five of them the winners of national contests have been already chosen to represent their countries at IYDC 2020. The organizing committee of the contest is expecting a record number of participants in its 2020 Finale – 22 young designers, representing Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, as well as new representation from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria and Slovenia.

“Young talents are emerging and need support no matter what is happening in the world. It would be unfair and irresponsible to deprive promising and talented designers the opportunity to present themselves and demonstrate their creative potential this year as a result of the global pandemic. Therefore, it has been important for our team to ensure the contest continues to be held this year. We have not been focusing on obstacles but rather looking at options and for joint solutions with our partners. We are inspired by the increased number of finalists this year which has transpired into motivation and optimism for our team. ” – says IYDC project manager, Victoria Kharchenko.  

This year, for the first time in the history of the IYDC, an “independent participant” invited by the organizing committee will join the competition. The organizing committee made this selection via a rigorous process, reviewing applications from counties without an established young designer national contest or in countries that IYDC does not have established partnerships. Applications from various countries were submitted, including Ghana, Spain, Canada, Netherlands and France. This year’s independent participant will represent the Netherlands.

The video presentation of all the finalists and their collection, will release on social media in on October 5th through 7th with the final winner announced on the 8th. On the same day, IYDC will host an online press conference with all the finalists, our international panel of judges, partners and accredited international and Ukrainian media.

This year’s winner will receive the Grand Prix of $5,000 to invest in the development of their brand from the organizing committee as well as a scholarship from the Istituto Europeo di Design to study at one of the IED summer courses.

Since the IYDC launch in 2018, 36 finalists from 16 countries in Eastern and Central Europe have participated in this contest. In this short time span, the International Young Designers Contest has built a strong reputation and fostered cross border professional community. The IYDC now boasts strong partnerships with 16 national organizations and leading institutions working with young designers in their respective countries.

Through its role in organizing IYDC 2020, despite the unprecedented global climate, Ukraine confirms its leadership position at the center of the European cultural and fashion industries, where young talent is discovered and promoted.