A win for the Philippines, and the importance of technology in fashion

Filipina fashion design student attains top spot in global brand campaign challenge

With sustainability and ethical production at the forefront of today’s fashion scene, along with emerging young designers in the Philippines, the industry has been very busy despite the pandemic.

In local news, fashion design student Nina Elicaño won the top prize at the Mary Kay and ArtsThread Challenge 2020-21, an international contest aimed to motivate student-artists, budding communicators, and marketers-in-the-making worldwide into channeling their visions for the next-generation brand campaign

The renowned competition was co-hosted by an American cosmetics company, Mary Kay., Inc., dedicated to empowering women and families through several initiatives like cancer research support and the protection of domestic abuse and violence survivors, together with ArtsThread, a global leading digital platform and creative launchpad that represents more than 100 countries, some 850 design schools, and over 300,000 students.

DLS-CSB student Nina Elicaño

Participants made a 360 omnichannel brand story to introduce core values, advocacies, and heritage for the beauty line to young women, particularly in the age group of 20 to 25. Each of the entries is complete with mood boards, concept statements, and taglines that illustrate as well as articulate the project and its underlying message.

Technology is driving the innovation. Technology is driving creativity. Technology is going to determine our workers’ ability to compete in the 21st century global marketplace.

—Ron Kind

In this day and age, it is essential to master the use of technology and digital platforms. With the vast majority of leisure shops still closed, the fashion and retail sector has been limited to digital services. The affair is a great way for students to transition smoothly to online operations, simultaneously improving their creativity.

A standout proposal “#daretobe” by a third-year student from the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts (DLS-CSB SDA), Nina Elicaño, won against all the other entries from all over the globe. The campaign bagged the first prize and $2,000 (around ₱96,000) cash.

Nina exhibited her strategic vision, style, and professionalism as an innovative thinker through an engaging proposition focused on inspiring women to champion the daring spirit of the founder of the cosmetic brand Mary Kay Ash herself.

“Mary Kay Ash dared to become a CEO at a time it was only acceptable for women to be housewives and she let others know that they could dare to do the same,” says Nina. “In true fashion, this campaign empowers women to ask themselves: What can I dare to be?”

Tailor-fit for its techy demographic, Nina’s pitch instilled strong online presence with stimulating and cohesive imageries ushering Mary Kay’s tradition into the most popular platforms today, including Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Likewise, the application of user-generated content like interactive makeup trends and immersive features in valuing the target consumers’ expression was highlighted.

Nina’s work is complete with cards, e-catalog, and packaging mock-ups mapped out not just to present the advocacies of the brand but to also further reach out to its beneficiaries.

The recently concluded fashion challenge recognized the “Glow-Getter” slogan by Summer Akram from the University of Derby in Derby, England as the second placer with a prize of $1,000. Third place went to “Beauty with Experience” by Julia Pitsulka from the University of Arts London - London College of Communication, who also won $1,000.