by Stephen Garner
Fred Segal Sunset

Fred Segal is teaming up with the Black in Fashion Council, an organization dedicated to securing the advancement of Black people within the industry, to launch the Season Zero design contest. The annual competition will begin accepting submissions today, October 1st, and is open nationwide to early-stage designers and artisans in an effort to provide a platform for unestablished members of the fashion and creative industries.

The grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 cash reward, a coveted pop-up showcasing the designer’s work at Fred Segal’s flagship location in West Hollywood for the spring 2021 season, and a prestigious mentorship opportunity with Fred Segal and the Black in Fashion Council. The contest will also recognize the second and third place runner ups, who will each receive a $5,000 cash prize. The cash rewards will be provided by the retailer’s charity, Fred GIVES, which is dedicated to globally cultivating the next generation of artists, makers, and designers by supporting arts education in schools and communities.

“During these challenging times, we understand that it has become more difficult for designers and artisans to find the support and guidance needed to succeed in the industry,” said Jeff Lotman, owner and CEO of Fred Segal. “Historically, there have been even more barriers for Black creators. We’re excited to partner with Black in Fashion Council to launch the Season Zero contest and give up-and-coming talent an opportunity to kick start their journey through industry mentorship and a retail platform. Our partnership with the Black in Fashion Council has been extremely valuable for our growth as a company and achieving the sense of inclusivity and community that our brand was built on.”

“Fred Segal was one of the first brands to not only join the Black in Fashion Council but also pinpoint areas of improvement,” added Sandrine Charles and Lindsay Peoples Wagner, co-founders of the Black in Fashion Council. “We are happy to support and endorse this programming as they continue to make strides to improve inclusivity within their retailer.”

To be considered, applicants must meet the following criteria:

● Be an emerging designer or artisan within the fashion and creative industries without a current brick and mortar or retail footprint;

● Submit 10-15 digital files of personal designs (of which they own the rights to);

● Provide a bio, vision for their brand and video (optional)

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges, including Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor in chief of Teen Vogue and co-founder of the Black in Fashion Council; Ashley Petrie, vice president of women’s merchandising at Fred Segal; and Brian Nyilas, vice president of men’s merchandising at Fred Segal.

The Season Zero contest is accepting submissions through November 2nd. All finalists will be featured on Fred Segal’s social media accounts on November 20th and the winners will be announced on December 4th via social media and featured on Fred Segal’s homepage.

For more information or to apply, please click here.