Lee’s “Make History” contest officially went live in January 2007 and over the course of two years, more than 16,000 entries were submitted from 90 different countries around the world, of which some 2,000 were featured online. People from all ages and origins sent their photographs and comments, and the very best works were also published in various fashion magazines as Lee 2008 ad campaign photos.

By the end of Dec. 2008, a shortlist of 101 works had been published on the Makehistory.eu website and the winner was ultimately chosen by a panel including Veronique Kolasa (LeBook), Carla Sozzani (Galleria Carla Sozzani), Terry Jones (i-D Magazine) and Frank Kalero (Ojo de Pez).

On Feb. 25 the jury awarded Rossella Dimichina, a 27-year-old from Ferrara, Italy, the top prize of €50,000 for her work, “The Weak in Wonderland.” The winning work, together with 100 shortlisted entries, will be on display at the Revel Gallery in via Thaon De Revel 3, Milan, from Feb. 25-Mar. 9, and will also be published as part of a book to be distributed to a selected number of insiders.

Said one company’s spokersperson: “With 'Make History' Lee has departed from the disembodied voice of the advertising machine, instead searching out new voices that can tell powerful stories from their own experience. Lee chose photography because of the power of perspective that resides in it. Photographs can be uniquely personal. They represent the type of dialogue that Lee is searching for: personal, honest, and above all, real. 'Make History' is an instrument for amplifying personal expression.”

A similar contest is now taking place in Asia and attracting a lot of attention. A second “Make History” contest in Europe is expected to launch soon.

—Maria Cristina Pavarini