YKK is proud to announce International Talent Support Accessories Winners

July is all about holiday and enjoying the summer but for us, in YKK, July is all about International Talent Support, especially when it’s time to celebrate the 15th Birthday. So, just like every year, we packed our bags, invited some great press and head to the airport to catch the next plane to one of the most amazing towns in Italy, Trieste.

This year ITS competition celebrated fifteen years anniversary and YKK was delighted to continue their support of emerging fashion talents eleventh time in a row.

The winners of ITS 2016 were announced during the annual gala in Trieste, Italy on the 16th of July.

From the ten finalists chosen at the pre-selection stage in April, the YKK Award 2016 went to South Korean accessories designer, Young Jin Jang.

Young Jin Jang YKK AWARD ITS 2016 with Hitoshi Yamaguchi from YKK and Barbara Franchin from ITS


Her designs captured the jury’s attention and as a result, she was awarded the prize of 10,000 € and possibility of being exhibited at the YKK London Showroom.

P1100337 - Copy
ROOM FOR THE MAN collection by Young Jin Jang


The ITS ACCESSORIES Award went to Helen Kirkum, a shoes designer based in London. She received 10,000 € for exploring unexpected constructions within footwear and investigating the extremities of structure and texture. She will return next year with a new accessories collection, which will be presented to the press and public at ITS 2017.

Helen shoes
OUR PUBLIC YOUTH collection by Helen Kirkum


YKK has a long history of supporting talented and creative artists like Kei Kagami and Kansai Yamamoto but also has launched many successful careers including last year’s finalists Isabel Helf (ITS ACCESSORIES Award in partnership with YKK winner), Bianca Chong (YKK Fastening Award winner).

Isabel returned this year to the competition with her new collection called Framework.

FRAMEWORK collection by Isabel Helf, ITS ACCESSORIES Award Winner at ITS 2015


Bianca Chong presented her wearable technology through futuristic jewelry which can measure data like time, vital signs and more from the wearer’s surroundings.

Wearable technology. ITS Made in FVG project by Bianca Chong, 2015 YKK Fastening Award winner


We would like to congratulate all Finalists – for us you are all winners !!

To find out more about International Talent Support please check:


Please also check our other social media channels:





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