Giorgio Armani partnered with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to launch a competition to find the brightest fashion talent that the UK has to offer. The winners were selected to create a capsule collection for his spring/summer 2018 Emporio Armani line. MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear student Dmitry Gotsfrid won the garment prize after Giorgio personally selected his bomber jacket, he then went to Milan to meet the team and produce the final piece over three days.
Dmitry was flown to Milan after winning the competition for designing a classic Armani bomber jacket with his own twist. Gotsfrid’s design took inspiration from the “Armani tailoring of the ’80s and ’90s- so, big oversized shoulders and pinstriped wool.” As a winner of the competition, Gotsfrid was flown to Milan where he received private tours of various Armani buildings along with the winners of the two other categories – both were also LCF alumni – and eventually went on to lead in the final designing plans of his jacket. The bomber will be produced and officially on sale in September in the UK and Milan.
Dmitry, 24, decided to pursue a career in fashion after his time at college in Russia, where he was originally born. “Something just clicked where I started doing sketches and designing clothes, and from then on I was certain about what I wanted to do, and it kind of just happened.” After attending a language school in London, Dimitri completed a BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear at LCF before going onto his Masters. Gotsfrid was surrounded by fashion from a young age, which eventually sparked his initial interest. We discussed his childhood and the impact it had on him, he said, “My mum and my grandpa have always been very into fashion and making stuff, they used to do a lot of clothes making when they were younger. My mum worked as a dressmaker so she was making wedding dresses and stuff, but that was when I was really little so I didn’t really pay much attention, until it just hit me.”
Gotsfrid learnt of the project after receiving an email from LCF, whilst he was doing freelance work with Giles Deacon and decided to go for it as the casual situation of his internship left him with time to spare. With one of the entry requirements being that you had to submit a minimum of three designs, he created a ‘rough line-up’ and then chose his favourite four designs to send with “technical drawings and fabric swatches and everything.” Gotsfrid initially thought he hadn’t been selected for the competition, but kept his cool even when he discovered that Giorgio Armani himself, was deciding the winners, when they said, “Oh we’re so sorry, Mr. Armani found it really hard to choose between the finalists”.
The selection process was quickly followed with the final design and production stages. Gotsfrid was flown to Milan to meet everyone from head quarters to the small factories three hours outside of the city. Dmitry talks us through his three days in the Italian fashion capital.
It was amazing, when I went to Milan they took me everywhere, it was so nice it was insane! We went to the street where they were based and they own basically the whole street. They have three buildings, one for design which is the main one and has been there for ages, and then one for marketing and one for PR, and then at the end of the street, he actually owns a house where he lives. The girl from the design department was showing me around, and a photographer was with me the whole time.
The first thing they did was take me to a factory near Verona where they do Emporio Armani, womenswear/menswear, Collezioni. It was the main production manager and her sister who showed me around – they introduced me to the director of the factory and the main pattern-cutter. Then they took me to a room where they made a draft of my jacket which was really tidy and styled, like really fitted, which was so far from what my sketch was, and then I think we spent just two hours altering it and they were like, “Just go nuts do whatever, it’s your jacket.”
The next day we went back to the design building and they showed us around all the studios and departments and introduced us to everyone, and that day I actually saw Giorgio which was really fun.”
I asked what he thought of Giorgio, Dmitry said
He looks really like..he looks like he’s ready to party. No, I’m just kidding, he looks really good for his age. He is a bit shorter than I expected him to be though, I thought he would be taller.
Everyone was just super nice and friendly, they took me to the Armani cafe, and they took me to the flagship store. There we met and worked with their video team because they wanted to create a video element to the competition when the press release goes out next month. I did a little interview with them, and then they took me to the Armani theater in the afternoon. They opened it just for us, so there was just three of us walking around this museum which was really cool. On the opposite side of the street, there was the building where they do all the shows, which was humongous. They took me there as well and showed me everything. It was a really interesting experience.”
Currently, Gotsfrid is working again with Giles Deacon after they requested him for assistance with ready-to-wear lines and couture. He has also been selected for the Fendi and Saga Furs project with other MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear students. His next plan will be to do a three-month internship, which he earned as part of the competition winner package, with living expenses covered, after he’s completed his studies for MA18 shows. His ambitions include trying to get a permanent job with Armani.
He told us
I would love it if I could get a job there. I just really hope there’s a good chance that I can. It’s not just the company itself because it’s the years of expertise and I’ve always been such fan of Armani in the ‘90s and stuff like all the suits and stuff and especially the trousers. I would be so happy and honoured to work there. Also, it was the first time I went to Italy, so I stayed with my friend I did my BA with, and I just fell in love with the whole country – the people, food, weather – I’m just desperate to go back.
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