Who are the six finalists of the DHL Talent Mode International Prize?
An overview of the six finalists of the 2022 DHL Talent Mode International Prize, in which FashionNetwork.com is a partner. The competition is intended for fashion labels in the women’s ready-to-wear segment that have significant international potential. The prize is organised by DHL Express France, in collaboration with the French Women’s Ready-to-wear Federation (FFPAPF), and will support the winning label’s international business expansion via a bespoke assistance package that includes export coaching, and €10,000-worth of DHL Express shipping coupons.
The finalists have been picked by a jury consisting of six experts: Sébastien Tanghe and Stephane Dupuis, respectively marketing director and head of major accounts at DHL Express France; Assia Belkhodja, head of the fashion & lifestyle division at DHL Express Europe; Anne-Laure Druguet, in charge of international projects at FFPAPF; Sylvie Pourrat, who oversees the fashion and accessories section at Who's Next; and Olivier Guyot, editor-in-chief France of FashionNetwork.com. The following is an in-depth portrait of the six finalists.
Elsa Poux started out in July 2010, designing unisex scarves and stoles patterned with creative prints, and gradually diversified her range, first by introducing stationery and home decoration items, then in 2018 by trying her hand at ready-to-wear and leather goods. Her Mapoésie label is commercialised by 160 retailers in France, and is also available at select museum shops, like the Louisiana museum in Denmark and, from next summer, New York's renowned MoMA. To further enhance its lifestyle range, the Parisian label has launched a home linen license this year. Mapoésie sells through its wholesale channel in France and also by attracting international clients at the many trade shows it participates in, such as Maison & Objet in Paris and Mode in France in Seoul. The label is taking part in the DHL Prize to further boost its international growth.
A disciple of slow fashion, the so-called eco-responsible fashion, DNVB Réuni launched in the summer of 2019, promoting sensible consumption with two launches each year, far from the frantic pace of the big houses experienced by its founders, Adrien Garcia, the creator and host of the podcast "Entreprendre dans la mode", his partner Alice Bailly and his brother Julien Garcia. Its women's and men's wardrobe made up of timeless pieces are co-created with customers, and are reserved for pre-order, a pillar of its business model and DNA. Marketing its products via its e-shop, only in DtoC (direct to consumer), the brand wants to consolidate its presence in Europe and broaden its marketing actions in the United States. This desire to expand to other continents led Réuni to participate in the DHL Talent Mode International award.
Since 2007, Valentine Gauthier has been a champion of slow fashion, a smart, sustainable way of designing clothes. With her high-end, socially engaged womenswear collections, she is keen to democratise a more responsible apparel consumption. Gauthier’s sustainable creations are fostered by her environmental beliefs, as evidenced by the collections’ names: “Fuka”, which means “blossom” in Japanese, and “Heliotrope”, a reference to those plants that turn their leaves towards the sun. Gauthier's nature-inspired world is proving attractive to French consumers, and she also commercialises her collections in Scandinavia, the USA, Japan and Korea, via a network of distributors. In 2023, the label will be available at eight new retailers, in cities like Antwerp, Munich and Geneva, and this led Gauthier to enter the competition organized by DHL Express France and FFPAPF, to further expand internationally via the B2B and B2C routes.
Since 2015, French designer Alice Balas has been revamping the leather jacket look emblematic of bikers and rock aficionados, adding a touch of upcycling Parisian-style. Her one-off, bespoke items are fully personalised and co-designed with her customers - as well as numbered and labelled with the name of their future owner - and are created by dipping into a catalogue of 8,000 upcycled leather fabrics and 600 colours. Alice Balas is commercialised by several international retailers, chiefly in Switzerland, Belgium and in Los Angeles, the city where Alice Balas products are most in demand within the US market. The label is keen to establish itself further in the USA, the reason why it upgraded its e-tail site last September, and has entered the DHL Talent Mode International Prize.
Poppy Field’s collections are infused with an urban, bohemian style, inspired by the 1970s. The label was founded by Jade Drouault and Benoit Deledique in November 2017, and is an advocate of sustainable fashion. Its products are shipped in compostable and biodegradable envelopes, and the items are made in Indonesia using organic cotton and cupro, known as vegan silk. By taking part in the DHL Talent Mode International competition, Poppy Field, distributed via the wholesale channel in the UK, Scandinavia and Japan, intends to expand its retail footprint with 200 additional stores worldwide, and to enter the US market.
Noyoco was founded by Eric Nemo in 2016 and features a mixed-gender, minimalist wardrobe. According to the label, half of the products in its seasonal collections are upcycled. Noyoco is positioned at the intersection between sustainability and Parisian chic, as hinted by its “sustainable meets cool” slogan. First spotted via the FFPAPF’s Talents programme, Noyoco adopts a pre-ordering system and uses low-impact fabrics and biodegradable synthetic fibres. By entering the DHL Talent Mode International Prize, Noyoco aims to benefit from export support and mentoring for its international sales strategies.
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