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SDC International Design Competition 2016

Start Date: June 23, 2015

Closing Date: November 30, 2016

Type: Undergraduate fashion/textile design students


  • Competition Update

    This competition is now closed!

    Regional heats have taken place across the world and the finalists from the participating countries listed below travelled to Shanghai for the Grand Final on 23rd November where the winner was selected by an international panel of industry professionals. Congratulations to UK finalist Laura Ensinger who was awarded first place and to joint runners up Kei Fung Kelvin Yiu from Hong Kong and Sataphon Jamsri from Thailand. Well done to all our finalists for their amazing designs and achievements.

    Bangladesh: Rafia Akter Munia – BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology

    China: Huiqin Huang – Huizhou University

    Hong Kong: Kei-Fung Kelvin Yiu – The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    India: Riddhi Majithia – B D Somani Institute of Art and Fashion Technology

    Ireland: Fiona White – National College of Art & Design

    Pakistan: Habiba Ishtiaq – GIFT University

    Portugal: Miguel Soares – Minho University

    Singapore: Ommar Davin Morrow Yohansha – Raffles Design Institute

    South Africa: Kristen Ristow – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

    Thailand: Sataphon Jamsri – Srinakarinwirot University

    UK: Laura Ensinger -University of Huddersfield

    Details of our 2017 competition are now available or contact the relevant regional/country co-ordinator from the list below.

    Theme for 2016: Making it Personal

    The challenge of producing unique, individualised products within a bulk manufacturing process with minimum waste.

    First launched in 2002, the SDC International Design Competition is our annual flagship competition, open to students in 13 countries. The competition is free to enter and attracts hundreds of entries worldwide; previous winners have gone on to major success in the fashion and textile industry.

    Competition Brief

    To demonstrate the creative, imaginative and original use of colour in either fashion or textiles
    All entries should show evidence of the following:

    • colour as an integral component of the design process
    • development of the designs, from concept to final product
    • excellent presentation and clarity of ideas
    • innovative approach to incorporating this year’s theme of ‘Making it Personal’ within the original design and final application

    The judges will assign marks in each of these categories. In most instances, students will be invited to bring their boards, written statements and a finished garment or article to the regional heats where they will meet the judges and have the opportunity to present their work. Where this is not possible  alternative arrangements will be made.


    The winner of the heat in each country will be invited to attend the global grand final. This takes place in November at the Shanghai University of Engineering Science in Shanghai, China. The global winner will receive £1,000 in cash and the prestigious Veronica Bell Trophy. The winner and finalists also benefit from significant international profile and press.

    Who can enter?

    The competition is open to fashion and textile design undergraduates in: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.


    Competition Theme

    This year’s theme of ‘ Making it Personal ’ must be included in the design and written statement.

    The fundamentals of the fashion business will always essentially be the same, but with the landscape changing at the speed of technology, what matters most now is how we activate those fundamentals. The smart money is on those who know that they need to get ahead of the trends and anticipate the next big things, or run the risk of being overtaken by their competitors.

    Fashion will shift from globalisation to personalisation. The world is more connected because of technology these days, but fashion marketing is becoming more localised and more individualised, as consumers resist uniformity.

    Personalisation is not just a trend, but a strong force in an ever-changing business – here to stay some may argue.  This will transform how we think about and how global brands are managed. Companies will decentralise their structure and increase regional and local influence.

    How can internationally recognised brands embrace personalisation within a global market place?

    The aim of this brief is to create a design which explores personalisation, yet remains strongly commercial in terms of manufacture, with colour and sustainability remaining at the core.

    Rather than hand-crafting a unique piece, create a design/product which can be personalised for a specific customer but is commercially viable and production efficient.

    You will need to consider the following:
    – Product type
    – Customer group
    – Yarns, colours, fabrics
    – Manufacturing techniques
    – Sustainability
    – Marketing
    – Price
    – Commerciality


    • Work should be mounted on a maximum of four boards of up to A2 size (please do not include any additional artwork/portfolio)
    • A type-written statement on one A4 sheet – no more than 500 words!
    • One extra piece of work that does not have to be attached to your boards – this could be a finished article, a sample garment or length of fabric.

    How to Enter

    • Download an entry form (available in the documents tab), or contact your regional co-ordinator. All entries must be endorsed and submitted by the relevant course tutor/ leader.
    • Entry forms can be submitted by email to SDC or direct to your regional contact.
    • Please don’t post your design boards. In most instances, students will be invited to the regional heat to present their design boards in person.
    • Some countries put a limit on the number of entries per university – please clarify this with your regional contact. One tutor should be identified as the contact per university and be responsible for pre-selecting the students and submitting an entry form
    Our thanks to Brian Hinnigan, Director of Sales, Johnston’s of Elgin, for providing the 2016 competition theme.


    Country /Regional Co-ordinators

    Australia/NZ: Henry Orlinski, email:

    Bangladesh: Afsana Ferdousi, email:

    China: Zhiming Zhang, email:

    Hong Kong: Dr Chi-Wai Kan, email:

    India: Vaishali Deokar, email:

    Ireland: Paul Santokhi, email:

    Pakistan: M Fawad Noori, email:

    Portugal: Joana Cunha, email:

    Singapore: Dro Tan, email:

    South Africa: Heidi Alcock, email:

    Thailand: Wiwat Hirunpruk, Thailand Textile Institute, email:

    United Kingdom: Angela Ackroyd, SDC, email:

  • The timetable is as follows:

    July 2015:

    Brief available on the website.

    September 2015:

    Official competition launch. Tutors can submit entry forms at any time.

    From Feb 2016:

    Regional heats take place and country finalists announced.  Some countries, such as the UK and India hold a number of regional heats, others just have one judging heat. The dates of heats vary across participating countries.

    November 2016:

    The prestigious Grand Final takes place in the exciting city of Shanghai where the global winner will be selected and announced.

    United Kingdom Regional Heats

    Five regional took place in the UK between February and April this year; the winner of each regional heat is shown below: The winner of each UK regional heat attended the UK final in York on 20th May – during the SDC Day of Celebration. The winner, Laura Ensinger from the University of Huddersfield was selected to represent the UK at the global Grand Final in November. Please read on for details of overseas finalists.

    Judging Heats Outside The UK

    Judging heats have taken place in most participating countries -please see the details below of the winners selected to date to represent their country at the Grand Final in November.  If you have any questions, please contact the relevant country co-ordinator (contact details are available in the ‘overview’ tab).
    • Ireland: Fiona White – National College of Art & Design

    • Bangladesh: Rafia Akter Munia – BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology

    • Hong Kong: YIU Kei-fung Kelvin – Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    • Thailand: Sataphon Jamsri – Srinakharinwirot University

    • Pakistan: Habiba Ishtiaq – GIFT University

    • China: Huiqin Huang – Huizhou University

    • Portugal: Miguel de Carvalho Soares – University of Minho

    • South Africa: Kristen Ristow – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univesity

    • UK: Laura Ensinger – University of Huddersfield

    • Singapore: Ommar Davin Morrow Yohansha – Raffles Design Institute

    • India: Riddhi Majithia – B D Somani Institute of Art & Fashion Technology

    • Australia / New Zealand – will not be participating in 2016

    • Competition Rules


    Judging heats will be held in participating countries around the globe from February 2016.  One finalist from each participating country will be chosen and all the finalists will be invited to the grand final where the global winner will be selected. On announcement of each country’s winner, accommodation and flights to the Grand Final will be arranged by SDC or reimbursement may be made up to an agreed cost based on flight costs at the time. Due to budget restrictions flights booked may not be direct.

    Who can enter?

    Undergraduate students in higher or further education following a recognised first degree or diploma course in fashion and/or textile design from the countries listed below.
    Entries must be endorsed by the course leader and entry forms submitted by the college or university on behalf of the student/s to the regional contact. Individual entries will not be considered.

    The participating countries are:

    Hong Kong
    New Zealand
    South Africa
    United Kingdom

    Age limit: Students must be 18 or over on 1 April 2016.

    Basis of submission

    The work can be based on a fashion or textile design project produced as part of the standard course curriculum or specifically for the competition.
    Content can include finished roughs, design sheets, illustrations, working drawings, mood boards, photographs, fabric indicators, material swatches, etc. At least one board must outline the colour theme with the colour palette clearly indicated.
    Each submission must be titled and supported by a typewritten statement in English (no more than one A4 page / ~500 words) explaining the background and inspiration for the work.
    Boards (maximum of 4 ) should be A3 (297 x 420 mm) or A2 (420 x 594 mm) in size, with your artwork securely mounted.

    ONE additional piece of work can be presented at the judging heat – this could be a length of fabric, one garment or one finished article.

    Only one entry may be submitted by each student.

    Group entries will not be accepted.


    Entries will be judged by respected professionals from the fashion and textile industry. Our judges are impartial and must not be contacted before the competition judging.  Failure to abide by the rules may result in disqualification.

    To find out ‘what the judges are looking for’ take a look at our blog.


    The work of the finalists will be on display during the heats and final. The winners will receive extensive publicity in the international press and in SDC’s own publications.

    Intellectual property:

    The intellectual property rights (patents, registered designs etc) in all designs submitted in the competition remain with the student. However, the SDC reserves the right to use the designs for exhibition purposes and to reproduce them in reports, on the website, in press releases and in any other publicity material.

    Any queries?

    For general queries, please email:  For country-specific queries, please get in touch with the regional contact.

  • Competition Brief 2016

    A downloadable version of the 2016 brief

    Entry Form 2016

  • The fashion and textile industry has to face the tough and growing challenges of sustainability, environmental and social issues.  Take a look at the links below which will give you plenty to think about:

Society of Dyers and Colourists

Perkin House, 82 Grattan Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 2LU, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1274 725138, Email:
Charity Registration No: 212331, VAT No: 247 9485 55

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