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Nurturing Emerging Fashion Talent

A Conversation with LIGNES DE FUITE Founder Milan Tanedjikov

Introducing our ABOUT series of Q&As featuring LIGNES DE FUITE's contributors. In this one, founder Milan Tanedjikov discusses his Deleuzian approach to fashion education and how the LIGNES DE FUITE talent incubator supports emerging fashion creatives.

Image captured at LaSalle College by Carol Ribero. Featured in the photo are Milan Tanedjikov, the founder of LIGNES DE FUITE, and his early protégés, Hannah and Steven, from the eponymous label Fecal Matter


Can you tell us a bit about what inspired the creation of LIGNES DE FUITE?

Of course! As a fashion design teacher, I saw many talented students held back by traditional curricula. I was inspired by Deleuzian concepts like "line of flight" and "Body without Organs" (BwO) to create a different space existing in parallel to academia that encourages authenticity, multidisciplinarity, experimentation, and creativity.

Can you tell us about the journey of LIGNES DE FUITE so far?

It's been a wild ride since our launch in 2018 with a mentoring program and the first volume of our annual print publication. Despite facing challenges, we've kept pushing forward and recently launched Volume 3, collaborated with WIP on a successful launch event, and are now gearing up for Volume 4 while exploring new initiatives to empower emerging fashion designers even more.

And how does LIGNES DE FUITE support emerging fashion designers?

We provide comprehensive support to address the unique challenges faced by young creatives in the fashion industry. That includes targeted grants, mentorship and apprenticeship programs, workshops, and strategic partnerships. We're all about creating a strong foundation for fashion designers to thrive, innovate, and contribute to the evolution of the fashion world.


What sets LIGNES DE FUITE apart from other fashion incubators out there?

What sets LIGNES DE FUITE apart is our maverick approach to fashion education. We prioritize creativity and experimentation, which is in line with the Deleuzian philosophy that inspires us. We want to help young creatives develop their own unique voices and push the boundaries of what's possible in the fashion industry. That's what sets us apart - our focus on empowering emerging fashion designers to be true innovators and disruptors in the field.

Can you tell us more about LIGNES DE FUITE's annual print publication and how it supports young creatives?

Our annual print publication is a collaborative space for continuous transformation, showcasing the works of carefully selected young creatives through interviews, recent graduate collection photoshoots, articles, and a main fashion editorial. The publication is created in the context of our apprenticeship program for aspiring editors and is the result of various workshops and collaborations between established professionals and the LIGNES DE FUITE editorial team. To encourage participation, we offer grants for the best recent graduate collection, fashion student design process, emergent photographers, and writers at our annual fundraiser event. The publication is distributed at cultural centers and libraries around the world, providing exposure for the young creatives featured in its pages.

Can you talk more about LIGNES DE FUITE's fashion design mentoring program?

The one-year fashion design mentoring program is one of our key initiatives, focusing on developing the imagination and identity of creative individuals. The program is highly competitive and limited to 12 highly motivated fashion students or recent graduates who exhibit a high level of craftsmanship, a strong balance between the conceptual and the commercial, and a level of innovation and creativity that distinguishes them from their peers. To create a collection at the highest level of innovation, participants receive guidance from practicing designers, technical experts, and industry leaders.

Can you tell us about some notable successes or impacts of LIGNES DE FUITE's programs?

Our programs have seen notable successes and made a significant impact on the notoriety of Montreal fashion education. Participants in our fashion design mentoring program consistently excel in international fashion design competitions. For example, Will Crosson, one of the program's mentees, recently won a prize at this prestigious international competition called the Arts of Fashion Foundation Student Competition. In the previous year, another mentee, Kevin Quang Thái Nguyễn, won the CAFA Student Award and the Arts of Fashion Foundation Student Competition and was also a finalist at the Festival d'Hyères. Additionally, our editorials have been recognized by prominent publications such as ID magazine, 1 Granary, PAPER, and Lampoon Magazine. These successes are a testament to the strength and effectiveness of LIGNES DE FUITE's programs and the talent and hard work of the participants.

What are the main challenges faced by LIGNES DE FUITE in its work?

First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who supports LIGNES DE FUITE. Without the support of our community, we would not be able to continue our mission of nurturing emerging fashion talent. As an independent cultural organization, we face significant challenges related to limited resources. However, we are not alone in this struggle. Many cultural organizations in Montreal also struggle with securing adequate resources to provide comprehensive support to emerging creatives. This is often due to a lack of government funding and limited access to private funding, which is essential for cultural organizations to sustain their programs and provide support to emerging talent. But despite these challenges, we remain committed to our goal of empowering young creatives to think outside the box and push the boundaries of what's possible in the fashion industry.

Q: What's next for LIGNES DE FUITE?

We're always looking for new ways to empower emerging fashion designers and push the boundaries of what's possible in the industry. Currently, we're gearing up for Volume 4 of our annual print publication and exploring new initiatives to support young creatives. We're also looking to expand our reach and impact in the fashion industry by forging new strategic partnerships and collaborations. We believe that the future is bright for LIGNES DE FUITE, and we are excited to see what's in store!


To show your support, we invite you to purchase our stylish spring tee today. Your continued patronage helps us thrive and create more amazing learning experiences for fashion creatives. Thank you!

You are cordially invited to join us for an exciting and creative evening at our upcoming DRINK & DRAW event in collaboration with Roxanne Ouellet Bernier. Get ready to unleash your artistic flair while enjoying drinks and mingling with fellow fashion enthusiasts.

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