Lalaland, a a Netherlands-based platform that uses artificial intelligence to generate customized and inclusive synthetic models of different ethnicities, and UZURI K&Y, a Rwandan-based eco-friendly shoe brand that uses recycled car tires from sub-Saharan Africa and employs local youth, are the winners of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge, a global program dedicated to finding and supporting ideas that lead to a more inclusive fashion landscape.
The two winners will share a prize fund of €200,000 and receive a yearlong mentorship with internal experts from Tommy Hilfiger and from INSEAD — one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools.
The virtual contest took place January 12 and 13, where six finalists pitched their concepts to a grand jury that consisted of Tommy Hilfiger; Martijn Hagman, CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Yara Shahidi, award-winning actress, producer, and change agent; Esther Verburg, EVP, Sustainable Business and Innovation, Tommy Hilfiger Global and PVH Europe; Adrian Johnson, Entrepreneur, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Technology and Media at INSEAD; Katrin Ley, Managing Director of Fashion for Good and Founding Curator of the Amsterdam Global Shapers Hub and Yvonne Bajela, founding member and principal at investment firm Impact X Capital.
More than 430 startups and scaleups from 22 countries submitted their ideas in January 2021 for this initiative, which echoes Tommy Hilfiger’s sustainability vision to Waste Nothing and Welcome All. This year’s program particularly strived to amplify and support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs who are working to advance their communities, while fostering a more inclusive future for the fashion industry.
“This empowering challenge brought together passionate and hard-working individuals with fresh ideas on how to create a future of fashion we can all look forward to,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “It was an impressive final event, and I am proud to continue this journey with the entrepreneurs who presented groundbreaking and impactful solutions that challenge how we think, build, and create.”
The Tommy Hilfiger brand is owned by PVH Corp.