Japanese Designer Tops Major European Fashion Competition

June 13, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. prevail / prɪˈveɪl / (v.) – to win against an opponent
Example: He prevailed against all the contestants in the competition.

2. bold / boʊld / (adj.) – having no fear or hesitations
Example: The applicant was bold enough to argue with the receptionist. 

3. at the last minute / ˈæt ðəˈlæstˈmɪn ɪt / (idiom) – during the latest possible time or moment
Example: I sent my application at the last minute.

4. bestow / bɪˈstoʊ / (v.) – to give as a reward or gift
Example: The cash prize was bestowed upon the winner.
Additional info: It is often followed by on or upon.

5. mentor / ˈmɛn tɔr, -tər / (v.) – to train or teach someone who has less experience
Example: The hair expert will mentor the aspirants in the workshop.


Read the text below.
A Japanese fashion designer prevailed against his competitors in a prestigious fashion competition in France.

Wataru Tominaga, 28, was awarded the grand prize for the Première Vision during the 31st Hyeres [hyer] International Festival of Fashion and Photography.

The Hyeres Festival is a prestigious competition for emerging talents in fashion and in photography. The competition chooses only 10 contestants for each category. These contestants will then present their creations to experts in their respective categories. The prize is seen as a ticket to fame and success. In fact, some of high fashion’s biggest names today were once winners of the Première Vision.

According to fashion critic Nicole Phelps, who was among the judges, Tominaga’s designs caught their attention because they were bold and optimistic. The said designs featured pleats and very vibrant colors. The pieces also exhibited a distinctively Japanese style.

Tominaga applied to the competition at the last minute and was in shock and disbelief when he won the prize. Tominaga has been living in Britain and just graduated from the Central Saint Martins in London before joining the competition. Tominaga competed against three other Japanese contestants, as well as Finnish, French, and Swiss contestants.

As winner of the competition, Tominaga was bestowed a cash prize of around $17,000. He will also be mentored by fashion experts from some Chanel-affiliated studios. Tominaga’s dream has always been to work for a major fashion line. However, he is considering making a line of his own in the future.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Are you willing to pay a very high price for designer clothes? Why or why not?
·         How can people show their support for local fashion designers who make it big abroad?

Discussion B

·         If you would be given the chance to join an international competition, what would you join? Why?
·         How would competing internationally change your life?

June 13, 2016