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New Era of Design

Every now and then a forward-thinking design venture focusing on young talent comes along, and it catapults the winner to instant success. Since November 2011 the New Era Introducing exhibition has been exposing fresh, upcoming designers from all over the world, in a bid to unearth top industry talent. The touring gallery began in London four months ago, and has moved through six other cities since, including Berlin, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, Stockholm and, most recently, Cape Town, South Africa. The finale is due to be held in Dubai in April. The concept behind the project is simple: young designers from eight countries were asked to channel their very own creative interpretation of whatever inspired them, using a blank New Era 59FIFTY cap as their canvas. With Cape Town selected as the 2014 World Design Capital it was hardly a surprise that the city produced some show-shopping creations from a whole variety of artists and designers. If anything, the works speak volumes about the untapped creative potential waiting to explode into the industry. The assortment of young, inspiring South African entrants included Chicco Come, Fatimah Patel, Jonathan Ferreira, Khanyisa Dada, Mandulo Myaka, Mvelo 'MX' Gwambe, Matthew Pastellides of Pastel Heart, Thabiso Molefe, Thithi Nteta and Ylanda Kruger. Their diverse personalities are beautifully expressed in each of their works of art, which were inspired by everything from streetwear, to sneakers, to African art and even the old VW 'buggy'. Ultimately it was 23-year-old Lina Al-Amoudi from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, who was chosen as the winning entrant. She was the lucky recipient of a £10 000 bursary that would go towards launching her chosen artistic career. Still, each finalist received invaluable exposure from the exhibition and are having their work featured in the limited edition New Era Introducing hardback book. 'We have built our brand by focusing on customisation and collaboration, and the opportunity to work on a project with young creative minds of tomorrow is incredibly exciting,' explained Wayne Best, New Era EMEA’s Marketing Director. He added, 'The unique artistic expressions and interpretations of the New Era 59FIFTY are simply inspiring. We’re proud to showcase these young talents and present their work in a unique gallery experience across EMEA, and around the world.' For more information you can visit the New Era website here or follow @New_Era_Caps on Twitter for regular updates.