Winner of the first Challenge the Fabric Award announced at London Fashion Week

Brandon Wen graduate of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts has been awarded 30 000 Euros and the prestigious CTF (Challenge The Fabric) Award at the launching event on the opening day of London Fashion Week. The award has been given out for the first time to reward outstanding creativity and excellent exploration of the fabric viscose, a biomaterial processed from wood.

The awarding decision has been made by the remarkable jurors, experts of influential representatives of the fashion industry including The Gentlewoman’s editor in chief Penny Martin, Diet Prada’s founders Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, Re-Edition magazine’s editor in chief Jo Barker, Instagram magazine Th_Rlty_Shw founder Tiffany Godoy, and founder and designer of Vyner Articles Heikki Salonen, Swedish designer Ann-Sofie Back and acclaimed cloud-rap artist and designer known as Ecco2K, Zak Arogundade.

Brandon Wen was amongst the 6 finalist showcasing their collections on runway at the first CTF Award that took place on Thursday the 13th September.

‘We were greatly impressed with the fabric innovation in Brandon Wen’s collection; how he transformed reclaimed viscose in imaginative ways that felt intuitive and unforced while achieving zero waste. The work presented suggests an expansive, optimistic world-view, which is supported by a sophisticated skill base - illustrated by high-quality production - and a readiness to evolve as a business’ states the jury collectively.

The CTF Award was handed out after the show to the winner, who along with the wide-reaching recognition of the award, received a financial contribution of €30.000.

‘This is the first international fashion award launched by the Swedish Fashion Council, connecting young creatives with the industry and across disciplines to create awareness, to push limits and to improve the fashion industry in the long run. We are very excited about the outstanding talent in this first edition.’ explains Jennie Rosén, CEO of the Swedish Fashion Council.

In addition to the CTF Award final, a complementary expert panel discussion was held during London Fashion Week. The panel, moderated by Prof. Rebecca Earley, founder of the Centre for Circular Design, Brigitte Stepputtis, Head of Couture at Vivienne Westwood, and Orsola de Castro, founder and creative director of Fashion Revolution as well as Per Götesson, designer and lecturer and Maria Baldin, Director for Sustainability and Communication at Södra, discussed the future of alternatives in the fashion industry with a main focuses on viscose as an alternative fabric.

A video of the show and panel are available on

Organised by the Swedish Fashion Council and initiated by Ekman & Co, and contributing partners Altri, Arauco, Sanyou Group, and Södra the first ever CTF Award for emerging fashion talents celebrates creativity and explores the fabric viscose and its versatile application for the fashion industry. In responds to increasing fashion consumption, and consequently growing demands for fibers, the CTF opens the dialogue about viscose as alternative fabric, a biomaterial processed from wood. By engaging and supporting emerging design talent to explore the fabric’s aesthetic appeal and characteristics, it is the aim to create awareness about fabric choices amongst consumers and the industry.


CTF stands for Challenge the Fabric and is initiated by EKMAN & Co. and the Swedish Fashion Council, in partnership with Altri, Arauco, Sanyou Group, and Södra. CTF aims at opening the dialogue about viscose as an alternative, and in the long, run contributing to a more sustainable fabric process for viscose. The background of the initiative is that the fashion industry’s fiber demand has reached peak cotton, exceeding the supply in recent years. The exploration of alternatives to fill the fiber gap is urgently needed and viscose might have the potential to be a solution.