Emerging designers mark the date: On August 18th there will be auditions for the chance to appear in this year's FashioNXT and compete to win a shit ton of prizes to help you launch your business! If you followed the evolution of the old Portland Fashion Week (no relation to this Porland Fashion Week) into the new title and format last year, you probably noticed that the Catapult Emerging Designer competition had been dropped. Well apparently event organizer Tito Chowdhury has since realized it's a mistake to not recognize up-and-coming talent, 'cause this year the competition is back under the new name Up/NXT (a little contrived, but whatevs). This year's prize package will include a computer system by corporate sponsor INTEL, a free full-collection runway show in the 2014 lineup, a feature in The Oregonian, business consultation with Shop Adorn's Nicole Whitsell and business accounts with multiple shops including Anne Bocci Boutique. Finalists will be judged by a panel of industry insiders including Anne Bocci herself, Project Runway Season 11 winner Michelle Lesniak, Portland Monthly style editor Eden Dawn, the Art Institute's Director of Apparel Design Sue Bonde, and the Merc's own Marjorie Skinner.

Auditions will be held at the Courtyard Marriott in Portland City Center, and interested designers are asked to secure a time-slot by sending an email to designers@fashionxt.net by August 15th. There is a $35 entry fee, which, if you are selected will go toward the show's $350 production fee. Selected designers must to show a collection of eight cohesive head-to-toe looks, and the judges may give each designer three design challenges to include on the runway. Good luck!

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