The Mittelmoda Fashion Award, Grado’s (Gorizia, Italy) international competition for fashion designers and students from across the globe, is celebrating its 20th edition this year. A jury of fashion insiders has selected 26 finalists out of hundreds of portfolios representing 600 fashion design schools from over 55 nations. Awards will be given on June 29 and finalists for the 2012 edition include designers from countries such as Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

Presiding over the judging panel is Matteo Marzotto, President of Mittelmoda International Lab (MIL) since 2008 and Maurizio Tripani, MIL’s General Manager. Tripani coordinated the judging panel, which has been instructed to choose winners focusing on the criteria of creativity, innovation, and wearability. Besides the finalists’ collections, the Grado/Gorizia catwalk will also display creative projects in beachwear (Seaside World Bikini, Beachwear and Accessories) and women’s knitwear (innovative in style, structure and thread proposal) as well as stockings and leggings. Italian underwear specialist Calzedonia will sponsor the new prize. Also new will be the Dinamica® Eco-Chic Award of Euro 2000, given to the best collection made using only ecological or natural fabrics offered by Dinamica®.

To further commemorate its 20th anniversary, Mittelmoda will open its archive doors and exhibit an accurate, detailed and wide selection of the material – rich in memory, fashion, trends and international creativity - in an evocative scenario that will take viewers through Mittelmoda’s history beginning with its birth in 1993 until now. Over 20 years, the competition has gathered; over 13,000 portfolios were submitted, meaning over 20,000 sketches of collections complete with accessories and outfits, 3,000 of which were showcased on the catwalk.

Mittelmoda is an event promoted by Mittelmoda International Lab in collaboration with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, SMI Sistema Moda Italia and Fondazione Industrie Cotone e Lino, with the contribution of Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, Camera di Commercio di Gorizia, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Gorizia and numerous prestigious companies. Lectra continues to be one of the main sponsors of the event.