We were invited to Ryerson University this week to watch the closing remarks of the DANIER Design Challenge and see the finalist’s designer work firsthand. The intimate ceremony was a great way to see some of the talented design work coming from universities. The competition is a joint venture between Canadian leather goods retailer DANIER and the Ryerson School of Fashion, and has design students submit their designs to be chosen to continue through the competition. The prizes include having the top designs manufactured and sold at select DANIER locations, a summer paid internship and a cash prize. Participating students receive an education in the business, as well as instruction in leather design and fashion.
DANIER CEO, Jeffrey Wortsman, presented this year’s top winners and awarded the cash prizes. The competition saw a surplus of talent resulting in a three way tie for third place, with contestants Amy Tahmizian, Diana Li and Kamra Khalid each receiving $2000. The second place prize was given to design student Som Kong who was awarded $3000. The top spot and $5000 cash prize was awarded to Ostwald Au-Yeung for his innovative and avant-garde design (see photos below).
Each year, the competition welcomes a revered panel of industry leaders to determine the final outcome. This year’s judges included: Chair of Ryerson’s School of Fashion Robert Ott, DANIER’s Chief Merchandising officer Olga Koel, TV personality and celebrated stylist Peter Papapetrou, Fashion Editor Derick Chetty, Style Expert Sarah Francis and Globe and Mail Style Editor Tiyana Grulovic. All of the judges helped mentor the design students as they progressed through the various stages of the competition by offering their knowledge and expertise.