The support network behind the finalists of International Young Designers Contest. Introducing MERINGUE, Latvia
We continue with the presentation of partnering organizations, who are organizing the pre-selection of the young talented designers in their countries to become the finalists of International Young Designers Contest. Our partnering organization in Latvia is Meringue, the platform for a multi-faceted collaboration of different young fashion professionals: designers, stylists, show producers, casting and fashion managers, etc. In a certain sense, Meringue bridges the gap between being a young designer student and becoming an established brand designer.
Meringues annual activities includes the fashion conference, young fashion designers contest and the finale fashion show, all combined by an annual common theme. At the conference, speakers are addressing the chosen annual theme from the different aspects and perspectives of their professional experience. While young designers, who participate in the contest, are incorporating the annual theme into their collections. The fashion show itself intertwines it into scenography, visual materials and other details. Last year’s annual theme was “Fight for the beauty”. The young designer Laima Jurča, who was invited as the influencer designer, addressed this theme by presenting her collection “Illuminated” for people with disabilities.
We Latvians, in general, are very individually centric in our work. It makes us put forth our best individual efforts in achieving the goals we set. At the same time, such a mindset very often takes away from us more than it gives us. At the beginning, it may scare an artist to allow other people to bring their perspective into the process of creation, it may seem that something could be taken away from their creative work. However collaboration could have a very positive impact, allowing growth in variety of perspectives. This is very true for the fashion designers. Therefore at Meringue our mission is to support young designers in Latvia by empowering them with opportunities of collaboration, particularly in areas of brand development and business management. For the execution of Meringue fashion show we partner with Latvian Culture College. The fashion and design management students are involved as producers, casting coordinators and planners behind this project. Their work is coordinated and guided by mentors who are professionals in the different areas of fashion.
Meringue established the connection with schools and universities in Latvia that have fashion design program. Through this established network we reach almost every fashion design graduate in Latvia. The participation at Meringue contest generates attention from media, industry professionals, buyers and celebrities as well as interest from other fashion lovers. At Meringue we also create opportunities for cross cultural and global fashion experience exchange. We invite international fashion experts as the contest’s jury members and lectures at Meringue Conference. Meringue has established partnership with the New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and the European University of North Macedonia. The winners of Meringue contest become one of the finalists at International Young Designers Contest, where they could communicate, exchange ideas and network with their peers from different countries. Being part of such international projects challenge young designers to step outside their comfort zone and also provides opportunity to see themselves and their emerging brand from the international perspective. We understand the importance of transnational mobility for fashion designers, and at Meringue we constantly are looking for opportunities to widen our international connection and to bring more international collaboration projects.