Ryerson Fashion’s Danier Design Challenge Is Back

[D]esigns will be sketched, hems will be finished and materials will fly. No, it’s not Project Runway, but for Ryerson’s third-year fashion design students the stakes are just as high.

Ryerson’s School of Fashion has partnered with Danier for the fourth annual Danier Design Challenge, where the leather goods company hopes to discover Ryerson’s next up-and-coming fashion designer.

The student who designs the best original women’s leather garment—and passes all five phases of the design challenge—will be able to kick start his or her career with a grand prize of $5,000, and
have their winning garment be part of Danier’s fall 2013 collection. The second place winner will be awarded $3,000 while the third place winner gets $2,000.

Although the winners won’t be announced until the all-finalist fashion show on Jan. 10, design students have much to do before they can step on their sewing machine pedals.

After students submit a sketched design illustration, judges undergo two elimination rounds. Once the contenders are whittled down, students then create a design prototype made of muslin, an inexpensive cotton fabric.

And then there is ten: the ten finalists will then unveil their leather garments in a video presentation (think H&M or Joe Fresh advertisements). The last phase, titled, “The Moment of Truth,” invites the media and esteemed judges for a fashion show, where the winner is finally announced. Each phase is evaluated by an expert panel, consisting of people from all facets of the fashion industry.

Judges this year include The Globe and Mail style editor Tiyana Grulovic, Toronto Star fashion editor Derick Chetty, Fashion Magazine fashion editor Susie Sheffman, and TV personality Jeanne Beker. Also judging the Danier Design Challenge is Robert Ott, chair of the Ryerson School of Fashion, Olga Koel, chief of merchandising at Danier, Brian Bailey, fashion designer and mentor at Project Runway Canada and Peter Papapetrou, stylist and regular on The Marilyn Denis Show.

Take a look at some student submissions below: