The Prato Textile Museum has launched Play Trend, a new fashion competition that will offer eight young European designers the opportunity to study at and research several textile companies in Prato.

The T&A district of Prato has decided to invest in the innovative potential of new talents in fashion design and recognize the freshness of their inspiration as an important resource for a key sector in the Italian fashion system.

The competition, free to enter through Apr. 30, is open to young people (18-33) from the design and creative sector that are residents in the EU and still engaged in studies or already professionally active.

Candidates are to submit a graphic proposal of a three-piece women’s outfit complete with accessories and inspired by the official theme of this first edition of Play Trend, which is “Bauhaus Reloaded,” inspired by the 90th anniversary of the German artistic movement founded by Walter Gropius in 1919.

The eight most creative candidates will be offered the opportunity to produce the outfit they design, participate at workshops, and meet with the creative teams and style offices of Prato textile manufacturers according to each of their projects’ unique characteristics.

In Jan. 2010, the best two of the eight outfits produced will be awarded €3,500 and €2,000 respectively along with special recognition for the designers’ works.

The main sponsor of the initiative is fashion brand Patrizia Pepe Firenze. Also sponsoring the initiative are fabric manufacturers Lanificio Becagli, Faliero Sarti and sister company Monica Sarti, Furpile Idea and Ultra.

—Maria Cristina Pavarini