Talents de mode, organised by the Village des Créateurs de Lyon, has become a leading fashion competitions over the past few years, and its influence only continues to grow thanks to the quality of its contestants and the prizes up for grabs. This year, Talents de Mode has chosen Gustavo Lins to oversee its 10th edition. Who’s Next, official partner of the competition, gets to know the Brazilian designer as he shares his opinion on the successful fashion initiative.
This year, Talents de Mode has chosen Gustavo Lins to oversee its 10th edition.
Who’s Next: This is the first time you’ve been asked to oversee the panel of judges at Talents de Mode. How did you find out about the competition?
Gustavo Lins: I discovered the project last February at an exhibition at the Joyce Gallery in the Palais Royal, where I met the director of the Village des Créateurs, Isabelle Gleize. The whole initiative is designed to help track down, work with and promote all kinds of fashion and decorative designers in the Rhône-Alpes region. What really attracted me to the project was the chance to draw on all aspects of the design industry: the creative, business-commerce and industrial side of things as well. It’s the first time I’ve seen an initiative attempt to unite all three of the links in the chain. On top of this, it’s all about creating business; Isabelle and her team work dynamically to create and establish real businesses.
Who’s Next: In your opinion, have Talents de Mode and its director, Isabelle Gleize, managed to take on an important mentoring role for young designers?
Gustavo Lins: Absolutely. With regards to the textile world, the Rhône-Alpes region has been massively energized over the past few years. Its fortunate location right next to Italy has allowed certain residents in the area to design and manufacture their prints there. Isabelle is an open, passionate and patient mentor, the three qualities that really allow her to help young designers in the long-run, and to position them successfully in the market. She has a genuinely global vision of fashion, and straddling both the economic and creative sides of things, she has mastered her area of expertise and continues to defend it.
Who’s Next: Have you ever been a judge or mentor in a fashion competition before, or worked in the capacity of young design?
Gustavo Lins: No I haven’t, mainly because my career path has been slightly atypical. Actually my background is in architecture, and I started out in the industry not as a young designer but as a dress designer, which I did for 12 years before launching my own company. In this way I didn’t follow the “classic” path into fashion; for me it wasn’t fashion school then classes then launching my own brand. I started my company at the age of 40, so I already had a fair amount of professional and life experience by then.
That said, if I’d decided to throw myself into fashion at a younger age, I would have definitely jumped at this adventure. In my eyes, the competition is the ideal opportunity to present a collection and to meet industry professionals, and outside of meeting professionals, it gives you the chance to make your name heard and get into the public arena. The critics who come to see the collections are all French and international experts, so it really is an excellent way to test yourself out.