The Winner of the First Prize of 2021 Taiwan Fashion Design Award, AOD Grad Ruwanthi Gajadeera, whose Work Perfectly Reflect the Concepts of Sustainability and Design Creativity

“kǣli–A Sustainable Collection” by Ruwanthi Gajadeera awarded with the 1st prize worth US$10,000

2021 Taiwan Fashion Design Award

The finals selection show of “2021 Taiwan Fashion Design Award” (TFDA) has been successfully concluded at Warehouse No. 4 in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park on October 6th. Among nearly 450 designers from 18 countries and regions including Europe, America and Asia, Gajadeera, Ruwanthi Pavithra from Sri Lanka became the winner of the first prize was for his/her work “kǣli–A Sustainable Collection”, and won a prize worth US$10,000. Yeh, Yu-Hsien and Chen, Ching-Lin won the second prize worth US$5,000 for their respective works “Mirage” and “Where have all flowers gone”. Tung, Li-Rung, Lee, Claire and Lai, Ming Hao each received the third prize worth US$ 3,000 for best use of fabrics, best pattern making and best market potential, respectively. The contest among the shortlisted of this year was the most competitive one due to their hearts full enthusiasm.

【The Government-Private Bussiness Cooperation Creating an International Fashion Platform for Emerging Designers】

First organized by Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (IDB) and co-organized by Taiwan Textile Federation in 1987, TFDA was promoted to be an international contest in 2013 and has attracted the attention and participation of personnel from many overseas fashion schools. The contest this year has got a great response among emerging designers from all over the world, making the contest even more competitive and internationally. Over the past 35 years, Taiwanese government has provided students of design schools and emerging designers with a platform to demonstrate their creativity. Not only has the government invested in long-term talent cultivation programs, but private sectors have also been offering great support. We hereby would like to express our greatest gratitude to the sponsorship by Lealea Enterprise Co., Ltd., Li Peng Enterprise Co., Ltd., Coddy Global LTD., and Fortune Industrial and Commercial Development Foundation, etc., who jointly provide a total prize worth US$35,000.

【The Physical and Online Fashion Show that Overcome the Threats of the Epidemic, Along with the Debut at the Static Fashion Show】

Taiwan’s strict anti-epidemic measures eventually enabled 2021 TFDA to be held as scheduled. The preparation process of the event faces more challenges than those in the past. In addition to the inability of foreign finalists to travel to Taiwan, it would be also difficult to allow viewers to come to the ceremony in person as in the past. Therefore, in addition to physical fashion show, the online live broadcast of the ceremony was synchronous execution. The international jury from the UK, France, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan also connected with each other online in a real-time manner, and the online scoring system also allowed the smooth selection and decision-making by the jury for the finals. The members of the jury were composed of renowned masters of the international fashion fields, which included Nao Takekoshi, the international boutique designer; Stephane Dou, the Taiwan fashion designer; Christina Dean, the founder of Redress; Valéria Bessolo Llopiz, ELLE International Director; Jane Singer, Managing Director of Inside Fashion; Tomonori Matsui, CEO of the Japanese fashion integration marketing company ONE O Ltd.; and Charlotte Chiang, Director of TTF’s Textiles and Fashion Design Department.

The jury recognized that each work has its own unique creativity from design thinking, noting that “Whether it is fashionable, elegant, or street fashion, the designers were able to consider the concepts of environmental-friendliness and sustainability from the very beginning of the process of designing, such as using clearance tabs to demonstrate the design creativity. As for the production processes, the all-in-one approach was adopted to reduce waste during the weaving, and for the clothing, the mix and match outfit in a multi-way manner was deeply and thoroughly explored, which presented the profound thinking from human relations to caring for the environment that reflected the spirit of sustainability at all stages of production of clothing.”

In conjunction with Taipei Fashion Week series organized by Ministry of Culture, all works of the finalists of 2021 TFDA will continue to be displayed at Warehouse No. 3 of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park until October 11. Please visit these wonderful works at a close range for the delicated details and materials!

Winners of 2021 Taiwan Fashion Design Award:

First Prize   Gajadeera, Ruwanthi Pavithra   kǣli–A Sustainable Collection

Second Prize   Yeh, Yu-Hsien   Mirage 

Second Prize   Chen, Ching-Lin   Where have all flowers gone

Third prize - Best Use of Fabrics   Tung, Li-Rung   Adler in the morning

Third prize - Best Pattern Making   Lee, Claire   Living Structure

Third prize - Best Market Potential   Lai, Ming Hao   Evolutionary realm

(Coordinated with national bilingual policy.)

Ruwanthi …Previous wins! 2021 London Graduate Fashion Week

Early this year in July, The Academy of Design (AOD) has added yet another accolade to its portfolio, following the success of BA Fashion & Textile Design graduate Ruwanthi Gajadeera at London Graduate Fashion Week 2021. Ruwanthi carved for herself a top spot as 1st runner up for her sustainability-themed designs, when put up against 15 strong international contenders at the illustrious design showcase’s Graduate Fashion Week.

With her winning collection 'kǣli', Ruwanthi sought to incorporate her Sri Lankan heritage and the many sustainable mechanisms of ancient Sri Lankan culture, to support slow fashion and produce eco-friendly attire. Having designed under four key principles (low-impact, low-waste, longevity, and recyclability), Ruwanthi’s oeuvre allowed her to follow through with her vision of exploring sustainable fashion avenues, with the intent to eternalise these garments to be passed down from generation to generation.

“The sustainable catwalk collection of Ruwanthi Gajadeera shown at the 30th anniversary of Graduate Fashion Week in London, flew the national Sri Lankan flag for the quality artisan skills practiced on the island, and achieved a well-deserved position of first runner up in the International Award category,” said Douglas MacLennan, Chairperson Graduate Fashion Foundation London, commenting on Ruwanthie’s win.

AOD’s mission is taking Sri Lankan talent global & helping young design aspirants contribute to the country whilst building a better work for themselves & others. AOD is about inspiration, about hope & about dreams we make happen! AOD makes this all happen through its unique and powerful partnership in design with Northumbria University School of Design in the UK & its own unique design pedagogy it embarks on the Post  O/L and A/L students who join its mission to study on its Fashion & Design  BA programs.