The U.S.-based retailer has announced finalists for the Target Emerging Designer Award, with the winner set to be announced during Montreal Fashion Week on Feb. 7.
Anastasia Lomonova, Melissa Nepton, by THOMAS designer Natasha Thomas, Nargisse Ennasri Akyuz of Nisse and the label UNTTLD helmed by Simon Belanger and Jose Manuel St -Jacques are all in the running for the top prize.
The winner will have the opportunity to create an exclusive collection that will be sold at Target stores across Quebec next year.
Award entrants were asked to provide a sample portfolio of three designs for men, women or both capturing the essence of a proposed fall-winter collection for Target.
The winning designer will also receive a $25,000 grant to produce a full-scale fashion show at Montreal Fashion Week and a full-page profile in Elle Quebec.
In an interview with The Canadian Press last year, Nepton said she would welcome the chance to be a part of a designer collaboration, but it would be key for her to bring her brand philosophy into the mix, such as incorporating soft fabrics and fluidity into a potential new line.
"First of all, I think it's not really for the cash; it's more for the opportunity to have some publicity around that and the experience, too,'' said the designer, who regularly presents collections at Fashion Weeks in Montreal and Toronto.
"It's a good collaboration to work with a big company like Target. You meet some people, you meet some other designers. It can be of benefit for the future.''
The award is also linked to the Designers Fund, a joint initiative of Sensation Mode, the firm which organizes Montreal Fashion Week, and the Montreal Fashion Foundation.
Target plans to open its first Canadian locations in March and April, with stores in Quebec set to debut in the fall.
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