Everywhere I go, people are talking about this year’s chapter of the ELLE Magazine’s reputable design competition in association with giant retailer Mr Price #RisingStar2013. ELLE Magazine South Africa’s grand plan is to assist in making a star out of budding designer label –as marvellously stated across page 30 and 31 of the June 2013 issue. This smart initiative is on a whole different podium, promising to elevate one lucky winner’s entrepreneurial skills by coaching the process from a design point all the way to meeting a prospect consumer, bringing in the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) as a partner. The prizes are also all kinds of fabulous including a R25 000 cash prize of Mr Price, a mentorship programme with the retailer at its head offices in Durban and an opportunity to redesign a pre-determined range (in collaboration with Mr Price) to be sold in selected stores. The winning designer will also get an opportunity to show a range at the following year’s Rising Star Design Award. The diverse judging panel includes the talented designer duo Malcolm Kluk and Christian Gabriel Du Toit of Kluk CGDT, the ever so graceful Editor of ELLE SA Jackie Burger, Poppy Evans the ingenious Fashion Director of ELLE SA. From Mr Price, Trend Executive Amber Jones and Trend Director Joanne Frѐdѐric will be on the panel too. On a more relatable level blogger extraordinaire Malibongwe Tyilo of Skattie What Are You Wearing and 2012 ELLE Rising Star Design Award in association with Mr Price winner, Jane Elizabeth Kotze will be in the panel. To ensure that the business side of it is well taken care of; DR Tashmia Ismail from GIBS will serve as a business mentor to the entrants. On a quest to finding the next big brand in local fashion, the ELLE team visited a few major design schools in Cape Town, Jo’burg and Durban where students had an opportunity to ask questions and discuss this year’s competition. Detailed information was also sent to all Key Design schools. Ts&Cs request that entrants have to be final-year fashion design students or fashion graduates with no more than three years’ design experience who are not currently employed by a South African retailer. To participate in this year’s ELLE Rising Star Design Award, download and entry form through www.elle.co.za before the 19th of July 2013 and start your journey on being a star.