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Seven young designers and five fashion schools star at Bloom’s shows
Seven young designers and five fashion schools star at Bloom’s shows
The first day of fashion shows at the 43rd Portugal Fashion was largely filled with the creations by young designers from Bloom, the platform aimed at the discovery, promotion and monitoring of new talents in Portuguese fashion. All told, eight Bloom fashion shows were produced with the participation of seven young designers and five fashion schools. These designers also had the opportunity to show their work at the Brand Up showroom, running in parallel with the fashion shows.   

The catwalk of the 43rd Portugal Fashion opened on 18 October, with fashion shows by fashion school students. This time round, fives schools were represented: EMP – Porto Fashion School, ESAD – Matosinhos Higher Institute of Art and Design, MODATEX (Porto), CENATEX (Guimarães) and the Castelo Branco Polytechnic Institute's Higher Institute of Applied Arts. In this way, the fashion students benefited from an unparalleled educational and professional experience, thus contributing to their training as designers. 

The seven young designers integrating the Bloom platform included the two finalists of the PFN New Designers Competition, Luís Sandão (ESAD) and João Sousa (EMP - Porto Fashion School), the winners of the last Bloom Competition, Mara Flora and Maria Meira, and also Rita Sá, making her début on Portugal Fashion's alternative catwalk. These names were joined by Daniela Pereira and Joana Braga, who have taken part in Bloom before, the platform whose fashion production and coordination was once again in the capable hands of designer Paulo Cravo.

Born on 7 July 1996, newcomer Rita Sá completed her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design at ESAD, in Matosinhos in the 2016/2017 academic year. In 2017, she was awarded 2nd place in the PFN Young Designers and i9Jovem Young Designers competitions. With the final course collection for the Designer Fashion module, "Diz-Orientation”, she was one of the finalists in ModaLisboa's Sangue Novo (new blood) competition in 2017, and was distinguished with an honourable mention. As a result, she earned the opportunity to take part in the Lisbon event (Sangue Novo venue), where she presented her "Telhados de Vidro” (glass roofs) collection in March 2018. This collection won her another honourable mention. 

Rita Sá also won the FASHIONCLASH award, which allowed her to present her collection at the festival of the same name in Maastricht, the Netherlands, in June of this year. And in Maastricht, she won the Vancouver Fashion Week award, which selected her to take part in that fashion week in Canada. In December 2017, she was invited to be one of the three Portuguese representatives at the Moda Portugal Fashion Design Competition, where a total of nine countries took part. Her "Telhados de Vidro” collection also made her one of the finalists in the REBELPIN – Fashion Awards by ACTE competition, held in Berlin, Germany, last July.

"This Bloom event reaffirmed the project's fundamental role in the generational and aesthetic renewal of Portuguese fashion. In fact, Bloom has made a significant contribution to launching the careers of young designers and attracting talent to the clothing industry. On the other hand, the quality, modernity and sophistication of the collections presented by the young designers mean Bloom fashion shows give added value to Portugal Fashion", said the spokesperson for Portugal Fashion, Mónica Neto. 

More than 40 young designers supported by Bloom 

The Bloom project was created by Portugal Fashion in October 2010, at the 27th event, in order to support, publicise and promote young Portuguese designers nationally and internationally. 

Since this event in 2010, the Bloom project has made it possible for 44 young designers and seven new designer labels to present their collections. These are Alexandre Marrafeiro, Ana Segurado, Andreia Lexim, Beatriz Bettencourt, Carla Pontes, Carlos Couto, Catarina Santos, Celsus, Cláudia Garrido, Daniela Barros, Daniela Pereira, David Catalán, Diana Matias, Eduardo Amorim, Elionai Campos, Estelita Mendonça, Gonçalo Páscoa, Hugo Costa, Inês Marques, Inês Torcato, Iúri, Joana Braga, Joana Ferreira, João Melo Costa, João Rôla, Mafalda Fonseca, Margarida Gentil, Maria Martins, Maria Kobrock, Mariana Almeida, Nycole, Olimpia Davide, O Simone, Pedro Jorge, Pedro Neto, Pedro Pinto, Pilar Pastor, Pritt Franco, Rita Gilman, Sara Maia, Stefano Ficetola, Susana Bettencourt and Teresa Abrunhosa as well as the Align With Kay, Atelier Ctrl, Amorphous (by Carla Alves), Autopsy (by Jordann Santos), HIBU, KLAR, 0.9 VIRUS (by Filipe Ferreira) and UNT labels.

Young designers are discovered through the Bloom Competition, whose finalists present their coordinates individually in a fashion show at Portugal Fashion, where they are assessed by a panel of judges made up of fashion specialists. Two young designers are then singled out, earning the opportunity to take part in the next Portugal Fashion event. This all means that the Bloom Competition is not just a fantastic experience for the young designers, but it also helps Portugal Fashion to discover and promote new talents in fashion.

On the other hand, some Bloom events have brought together educational institutions and specialised design courses. Students from Porto Fashion School, MODATEX and ESAD – Matosinhos Higher Institute of Art and Design, the Fashion Design course from the University of Lisbon Faculty of Architecture, CENATEX (Guimarães) and the Castelo Branco Polytechnic Institute's Higher Institute of Applied Arts have already had the opportunity to present coordinates on Portugal Fashion's alternative catwalk.    

Some young Bloom designers have participated in international fashion shows and showrooms with the support of Portugal Fashion, or its complementary commercial project, Next Step, and have been present at important fashion events in London, Paris, Milan, Vienna, Copenhagen, Rome and Madrid, for example. 

Carla Pontes, Estelita Mendonça, Hugo Costa and Susana Bettencourt are examples of young designers who, following their participation in the Bloom project, have consolidated their careers and are now on the main Portugal Fashion calendar. They have also taken part in several international fashion events with the endorsement of Portugal Fashion. 
Among this group of emerging designers, Hugo Costa is a veritable case study. The young designer made his début at the Paris Men's Fashion Week in June 2016 and has already been in the city of light's fashion week four consecutive times. Always with the support of Portugal Fashion.   

At this 43rd Portugal Fashion, Sara Maia and Nycole made the move from Bloom to the main catwalk. Nycole was also on the calendar of Altaroma in Rome last January, with the support of Portugal Fashion.