Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge winners Netherlands-based Lalaland uses artificial intelligence to generate customised and inclusive synthetic models of different ethnicities, while UZURI K&Y is a Rwandan-based eco-friendly shoe brand that uses recycled car tires from sub-Saharan Africa.

The Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge’s final virtual event took place on 12-13 January, where the six finalists pitched their concepts to a jury panel. The winners will share a prize fund of EUR200,000 and receive a year-long mentorship with internal experts from Tommy Hilfiger and from INSEAD — one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools. They also secured a place in an INSEAD programme that brings people, cultures, and ideas together to cultivate innovative leaders.

Both Lalaland and UZURI K&Y were awarded EUR100,000.

“Creating technology that drives a more inclusive and diverse e-commerce platform is at the heart of our vision at Lalaland,” says Michael Musandu, co-founder, and CEO of Lalaland. “Being part of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge brought incredible insights and will elevate our AI solution to reach more people than we could have imagined. Through donning this achievement, our team cannot wait to empower a welcoming online shopping experience, so no consumer feels under-represented.”

Kevine Kagirimpundu, co-founder, and CEO of UZURI K&Y, adds: “This opportunity has provided mentorship, strategic guidance, and given us a platform to share our dream of bringing sustainable footwear options from Africa to the global market. We are dedicated to drive real impact and inspire the youth of today to craft a cleaner future.”

More than 430 startups and scaleups from 22 countries submitted their ideas in January for the initiative, which echoes Tommy Hilfiger’s sustainability vision to Waste Nothing and Welcome All.

For the first time, fans of the Tommy Hilfiger brand were able to participate in the initial phases of the challenge, where they cast their digital vote to help narrow down the applications to identify the finalists. Alongside Tommy Hilfiger associates at the final event, they were also invited to vote for their favorite pitch to award an additional EUR15,000 to one of the finalists.

This went to Clothes to Good, a South African-based social enterprise that creates micro-business opportunities and jobs for people with disabilities through textile recycling.

Applications for the fourth installment of the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Frontier Challenge will open in March. Entrepreneurs who are interested in receiving more information are invited to register here.