14 May Cova Trujillo and Helena Rabal, 1st and 3rd prize winners at the Apolda European Design Awards
Graduates in Fashion Design from ESDi Covadonga Trujillo and Helena Rabal have been awarded the 1st and 3rd Prize in the German competition for new
fashion designers “Apolda European Design Award” (AEDA). Their Final Degree Projects were selected by the university to present themselves to the contest due to the topicality of their approaches and the excellent academic curriculum of both. “It was an honor and a privilege that we were chosen to participate in such a contest, at a European level,” emphasizes Cova.
According to Dolors Giró, head of the Fashion Area at ESDi, “innovation in the concept and its subsequent development have been recognized.” For Cova and Helena this recognition was a surprise. “The truth is that I did not expect to win at all, I thought of it to be practically impossible after watching all the spectacular collections that were presented” says Cova. In fact, the contest this year had 29 collections of fashion graduates from 15 universities and 10 countries.
“If I had to choose a word as a conclusion, It would be Grateful”, Cova Trujillo, 1r Prize AEDA
“The fact that 2 out of the 4 awards given went to the same university speaks a lot about the school level,” says Helena. “When you think of the same university, or
even a country, you may think of collections with certain similarities will come out, but ours are totally different. It is what the design of each has”. For both of them,
being able to live this experience together and support each other since day one, without any rivalry has been very important. “It has been a relief throughout the
process and a pride that we have both won an award,” says Cova.
Given the current situation, the contest this year has had to take place online. Cova and Helena were going to travel to Germany, meet the rest of European designers and participate in a fashion show with an award ceremony. With the sanitary crisis, the competition organization decided to present the collections through their social networks and thus communicate the winners. Although in a limited way, this allowed both of them “to see the other collections and realize the different ways of doing and understanding design in Europe”, highlights Helena.
The Cova Trujillo collection that won the 1st AEDA Prize, valued at € 12,000, is entitled “(Entre[tu]piel)” and presents a very current reflection on the importance, in the very short future, of communicating with the clothing pieces we buy. As Dolors Giró defines it, “it is about betting on a fashion that is more committed to the planet and with more respect for the entire human process, seeking its values and trying to recover our connection between the entire chain of people who have made it possible, and the use of new technological means such as 3D printing”.
“The challenges of climate change are my main focus and what drives me. The search for innovative materials and ecological dyeing processes are my greatest sources of inspiration”
This is how Covadonga explained the theme of his collection (Entre[tu]piel) in the contest nomination: “The challenges proposed by climate change, particularly for us fashion designers, are my main focus and what drives me. With my collection I want to contribute to the sustainable management of garments. The idea is to connect the clothes to a story that the user falls in love with. I want to start an intimate conversation between the garment and the body and create emotional value. The search for innovative materials and ecological dyeing and finishing processes are my greatest sources of inspiration.”
“If I had to stay with a word as a conclusion, It would be grateful. The truth is that it has been a long process, but it has been worth it. It is a privilege to be linked to the Apolda family, they have been amazing throughout all these months,” says Cova. Although the coronavirus crisis has affected the contest, which should have been held on May 9 (“it would have been a very beautiful and super positive experience to learn from others and get to know each other”), Cova had the opportunity to travel to Apolda in February to participate in the filming of the fashion film for their collection.
Apolda European Design Award has an agreement with the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar school, and for its film, students are responsible for making a video for each collection. “The director of my video made me very participant in the creative process and encouraged me to go with it. The experience was great and being able to meet the entire team was incredible, they are incredible professionals. I’m left with having been able to live that,” explains the winner of the Apolda European Design Awards 2020.
On the other hand, Helena Rabal’s “BNT_DNT” (Been There, Done That) collection convinced the jury with a theme based on the fields of architecture and tourism. It draws a possible reflection on the individual in the globalized society and the way of relating to it. According to Andrea Karg, a member of the jury that proclaimed the 3rd Prize, valued at € 5,000, “the current situation has given the collection an explosive effect”.
This is how Helena presented her candidacy for the competition: “Besides fashion, architecture is another field that really fascinates me because it combines creativity and technology. I am inspired by designers who work with functional materials and combine sportswear and urban clothing to create a new look. Graphic design is another important source of inspiration, since you cannot have sportswear and urban clothing without it. My collection takes a critical look at modern forms of tourism”.
“I am inspired by designers who work with functional materials and combine sports and urban clothing to create a new look”
Dolors Giró, head of the Fashion Area at ESDi, highlights from the collection “the study of careful furnishings (closures, brooches …), as well as typographic work at the level of prints and labeling on the garments”.
For Helena, “winning the third prize was a really very rewarding surprise on a personal and professional level. To see how your concept and design is not only understood and liked, but is also recognized, is incredible”.
Both Helena and Cova are now waiting for the publication of the fashion clips made by the students of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar university with the looks of their collections. “You can see how the concept of your collection takes shape from the eyes of a filmmaker. Seeing the whole process of filming, although in a virtual way, was very gratifying and seeing the result is amazing”, highlights Helena. They also hope to be able to travel to Apolda soon with the rest of the finalist designers to be able to see these videos together with the film students who have made them possible.
Congratulations Cova and Helena! We are very proud of you