Inspiration 94
Report on judging for the 4th Kokka Print Textile Competition

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Do you know that KOKKA, which runs this blogging site, has actively recruited new talent and has collaborated with young designers who potentially bring fresh ideas to the textile industry?

KOKKA, the leading printed textile manufacturer in Japan, organizes “Kokka Print Textile Competition ~ Inspiration” every other year, aiming to discover a new field of textile on the concept of “by KOKKA x future textile designer”.
Natsuki Camino, who was the winner for the last competition in 2013, has launched her own textile line “Törten” from KOKKA. Currently, Törten is one of the most popular textiles among fabric retailers throughout Japan.
On July 30, 2015, KOKKA and the jury announced the first prize, runner-up, and 7 honorable mention winners for the fourth competition held this year. (Please see here for details.)
Here, we are showing the jury and their judging process for the competition.

The jury was composed of five members, who are all distinguished textile designers in Japan;
Reiko Sudo, Masaru Suzuki, Masashi Arita, Masahiro Tobita and Makiko Minagawa. They took time out of their hectic schedules to take part in the judging process. The judges are in favor of our intention to give a chance to those who are pursuing design careers or want to be involved in textile industry.

Reiko Sudo (left) and Makiko Minagawa were looking at each single the submission.

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(From front) Masaru Suzuki, Masafumi Arita and Masahiro Tobita

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“Overall, Scandinavian style seemed to be really popular among participants.” “More undergraduates and young designers applied this time.” These are the two main trends that every judge felt after reviewing this competition.

While 166 participated in the last competition, there were 387 entries this time! The exponential increase of submissions amazed the judges. In addition, there was an increase in the quality of artwork.

According to a judge, this “Inspiration” is the single competition for print textile design in Japan and a rare opportunity for those who aim to be a textile designer. The phrase, “Just one in Japan” makes us aware of the huge responsibility of this competition.

The Textile Award Department of KOKKA recently made a statement; “We received a large number of submissions for the 4th competition. While witnessing the judging process, we realized that every artwork submitted was incredible. It was very difficult for the jury to cull the finalists. All of us felt an intense need to create more opportunities for aspiring designers. We will continuously make an effort to keep Kokka Print Textile Competition opened to anyone with fresh and creative ideas for the industry in the future.”

The award ceremony will be held on August 22. Don’t miss our follow-up report about it.

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