For the first time in almost 20 editions, the Bloom area - dedicated to new talent - included a show of young international designers. They are the seven runners up of the Milano Fashion Graduate SS20, an initiative of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to showcase the work and talent of the best students in Italy's fashion schools. The 19th edition of Bloom also included a show with students from six Portuguese fashion schools, the Bloom Upload collective catwalk show (designers at an early stage of their careers) and also the Unflower catwalk shows (debuting at the event), Maria Meira and Rita Sá.  

The participation of the runners up for the Milano Moda Graduate SS20 (Alessia Scasserra, Enrico Vettorazzo, Eleonora Giussani, Ottavia Molinari, Chiara de Nigris, Pietro Fadda and Francesco Murano) in Bloom was the result of a partnership between Portugal Fashion and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana for the interchange of young European talent, with the aim of promotion abroad.

"This partnership with Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana is very important for the international expansion of Portugal Fashion. With the support of this Italian association, we can take Portuguese designers and brands to more international events, in addition to strengthening the international dimension of our national calendar, enhancing the networking of our young designers and attracting talent to our fashion industry," says Portugal Fashion's project leader, Mónica Neto. 

The first day of fashion shows at the Alfândega do Porto Congress Centre was almost completely devoted to the young designers of the Bloom project, through which Portugal Fashion discovers, promotes and supports new fashion talents. Under the coordination and production of designer Paulo Cravo, the 19th edition of Bloom kicked off with the collective runway show by fashion students. This time, six Portuguese fashion schools were represented: CENATEX (Guimarães), Escola de Moda do Porto, Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas do Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco (ESART), Escola Superior de Artes e Design de Matosinhos (ESAD), and Faculdade de Arquitetura da Universidade de Lisboa (Fashion Design course).   

This was followed by the Bloom Upload collective runway show, an experimental platform for designers who are still at an early stage of their careers. The creations of Carolina Sobral, ARIEIV (by José Pinto), João Sousa and 0.9 Viruses (by Filipe Ferreira) will be showcased in a capsules format with five ensembles. All these young designers participated equally in the previous edition of Bloom, in March, during the 44th edition of Portugal Fashion. Thus, all the technical and aesthetic maturation work is being carried out with these new designers, so that they can soon move to other Bloom stages and, after that, to the main catwalk. 

After the young Italian designers, the Unflower brand (by designers Joana Braga and Ana Sousa) and Maria Meira shared the Bloom catwalk, and Rita Sá, with an exclusive parade, closes the Portugal Fashion platform dedicated to new fashion talent. 

Rita Sá is a promising Portuguese fashion designer. Born on 7 July 1996, she completed her degree in Fashion Design at ESAD in Matosinhos, in 2017. In that same year, she won 2nd place in the Young PFN competition and Young Creators i9Jovem competition. She was a runner up in the New Blood contest of ModaLisboa, also in 2017, having been awarded an honourable mention.

Consequently, she won the possibility to participate in the event (New Blood space), being again awarded an honourable mention. 
Rita Sá was also awarded the FASHIONCLASH award, which allowed her to show her collection at the festival of the same name, in Maastricht, the Netherlands, in June 2018. In Maastricht, in turn, she won the Vancouver Fashion Week award, thus being invited to participate in that same fashion week, in Canada. She was also a finalist in the REBELPIN contest - Fashion Awards by ACTE, which took place in Berlin, Germany, in July 2018.

More than 50 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 41 young designers and seven brands to present their collections. To be precise, 0.9 Viruses (by Filipe Ferreira), Alexandre Marrafeiro, Align With Kay (by Catarina Santos), Amorphous (by Carla Alves), Ana Segurado, Andreia Lexim, ARIEIV, Atelier Ctrl, Autopsy (by Jordann Santos), Beatriz Bettencourt, Carla Pontes, Carlos Couto, Carolina Sobral, Catarina Santos, Celsus, Cláudia Garrido, Daniela Barros, Daniela Pereira, David Catalán, Diana Matias, Eduardo Amorim, Elionai Campos, Estelita Mendonça, Gonçalo Páscoa, HIBU (by Marta Gonçalves and Gonçalo Páscoa), Hugo Costa, Inês Marques, Inês Torcato, Iúri, Joana Braga, Joana Ferreira, João Melo Costa, João Rôla, João Sousa, K L A R (by Alexandre Marrafeiro, Andreia Oliveira and Tiago Carneiro), Luís Sandão, Mafalda Fonseca, Margarida Gentil, Mara Flora, Maria Martins, Maria Meira, Maria Kobrock, Mariana Almeida, Nycole (by Tânia Nicole), Olimpia Davide, O Simone, Pedro Jorge, Pedro Neto, Pedro Pinto, Pilar Pastor, Pritt Franco, Rita Gilman, Rita Sá, Sara Maia, Stefano Ficetola, Susana Bettencourt, Teresa Abrunhosa, and UNT.

The discovery of young designers takes place immediately in the Bloom Contest, whose runners up individually showcase their creations in a runway show at Portugal Fashion and are thus subject to the evaluation of a jury made up of fashion experts. Two young designers are then distinguished, earning the possibility to participate in the next two editions of Portugal Fashion. Therefore, the Bloom Competition is not just an enrichening experience for the young designers, it also helps Portugal Fashion to discover and promote new talents in fashion.

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 and Madrid. 

Carla Pontes, David Catalán, Estelita Mendonça, Hugo Costa, Inês Torcato, Nycole, 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 seven consecutive times. Always with the support of Portugal Fashion.