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Giving new designers a boost to the big runway

This month, a Boston-based website that helps fashion designers make aname for themselves in the industry will again kick off an annualcompetition that will send a fledgling designer to next year's LondonFashion Week.

This month, a Boston-based website that helps fashion designers make a name for themselves in the industry will again kick off an annual competition that will send a fledgling designer to next year's London Fashion Week.

Ustrendy.com, a website created by Boston resident and Brandeis alum Sam Sisakhti, lets designers promote their merchandise through its online store. And for the fourth year, one of its top designers will be sent to the U.K. to flaunt their fashions on the runway.

"The idea came to me a couple of years ago after I saw the struggle of some friends who were trying to become fashion designers," Sisakhti said.

The contest started this month and pits 14,000 designers from across the U.S. -- 300 of them from Massachusetts -- against each other. The top-selling designer wins.

Their prize: a runway show that helps them get exposure and network with international designers, models and media at London Fashion Week.

One of the design labels in the running is Boston-based Lily & Migs, which was established in 2008 by founders Jennifer Barron and Lauren Antos.

It is the first year Barron and Antos will give the competition a whirl; however, according to Antos, the pair is always looking for new ways to expand the brand's recognition.

"These contests are great for independent labels like ourselves to potentially have an opportunity to show our collection in a place where we do not yet have the means to otherwise," she said.

As Boston winds down its fashion week, it is clear the Hub is taking strides toward becoming more fashion-forward.

"While day-to-day Boston can be slightly more on the conservative side, Bostonians do appreciate and enjoy unique fashion," Antos said.

 
 
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