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Why has ASOS created this competition?

ASOS has a long history of supporting new design talent and emerging brands, but there is a clear opportunity to implement a more formal initiative and reach a wider pool of talent. As such, we will be creating this brand incubator initiative, which is called ASOS Fashion Discovery.

What is the prize?

At the end of the competition there will be two winners and each of them will receive from ASOS:

  • £50,000 cash to be used to help each winner grow its brand;
  • An edit of their brand’s collections to be sold on ASOS.com (and local language sites at ASOS’ discretion) for three consecutive seasons starting SS17;
  • 50 hours of mentoring split across up to five business functions (limited to a maximum of 15 hours per function): Retail, Marketing, Finance, Legal and Sourcing
  • Editorial coverage on ASOS channels; and
  • ASOS to create a digital fashion look book.

The 10 shortlisted businesses who do not become winners will each receive the opportunity to trade (rent-free and with a reduced commission rate) as a boutique on the ASOS Marketplace platform for 12 months (subject to signing up to the ASOS Marketplace terms and conditions).

Who can enter?

This competition is only open to UK-based businesses (sole traders, partnerships and companies), that –

  • Have been trading for less than five years as at 1 May 2016; and
  • Operate a fashion brand (e.g. menswear, womenswear, unisexwear, accessories, footwear and/or jewellery) (“Brand”). Non-fashion product extensions will not be taken into account for the purposes of this competition; and
  • Sell new (i.e. not vintage or second-hand) and original fashion products.

Who can enter on behalf of a business?

Each business must nominate:

  • A representative to enter the competition on its behalf (“Representative”); and
  • Two key individuals (one of whom should normally be the Representative) to represent the business if it is shortlisted – including appearing in the Stage 3 photo/video shoots, panel session and (if selected as a winner) the Winners' Ceremony (“Key Individuals”). If a business is a sole trader and only has one key individual, this will be acceptable. If it is impossible for a Key Individual to attend one of these events they should give ASOS as much notice as possible, but ultimately (and to keep the competition fair) ASOS reserves the right to disqualify the business in its reasonable discretion.

All Representatives and Key Individuals must be members of senior management and/or directors of the entering business, have full authority to represent and bind the business, be over the age of 18, and be a resident of the UK. An individual can only be appointed as a Representative or Key Individual for one business.

My business has already entered the competition, can I submit another application for my business?

In order to be fair, we unfortunately only allow one application per business/brand. However if your business is not successful this year, it may be able to apply again next year.

What is the difference between business and brands application?

Entrants must be a UK-based business (sole trader, partnership or company) which operates a fashion brand. If your business operates multiple brands, it must select one brand to enter (have a read through the competition Ts&Cs to decide which is most appropriate!).

What happens once I have submitted my business's Stage 1 application?

After Stage 1 closes, our judges will select up to 50 businesses to go through to Stage 2 and become the “Longlist”. We will contact the Representatives of all Stage 1 entrants via email by 1 July 2016, to confirm whether or not they are on the Longlist. If your business is Longlisted, you must respond to us (in the way and by the date specified in our confirmation email), to confirm your acceptance to proceed to Stage 2.

Where and how will I get my business's login details?

Once you start to apply, you will be required to enter an email address. This email address will allow us to send you your business's unique account details (account details will be received either when the Representative clicks “Save For Later” or “Submit”, whichever is first). As the Representative, it is your responsibility to keep all account details confidential, and your contact details valid/up-to-date, as we will use them to update your business on the competition. You will also need these details if you want to log back in later to view your business's application form. Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to add or amend anything (although please let us know if contact details change).

How do I make changes to my business's application?

As long as you have not submitted your business's application you can always review and make amendments before the deadline, by logging back into your profile. Once you have submitted your business's application you will not be able to add or amend anything (although please let us know if contact details change).

When is my business's application officially submitted?

An application will only be entered into the competition once the representative has clicked “Submit” and received a confirmation of submission email.

What are the criteria that the judges will be taking into consideration to make their decision?

At all three stages of the competition, our judges and panellists will be looking for businesses and brands that:

  • Are appropriate for the ASOS platforms – e.g. in terms of their values, relevance to 20-somethings and price point;
  • Have a strong, high-quality online and social presence;
  • Display originality, commerciality, personality and entrepreneurial flair – not only in their competition application, but also in their fashion collection, marketing content, and day-to-day;
  • Have credible distribution channels and ability to supply for global sale;
  • Show commercial strength, viability and an appreciation of risk management;
  • Have a good understanding of how marketing and PR can build their business; and
  • Can demonstrate that they will use the prize to grow their brand.

Our panel may also take into account customer feedback on the final shortlisted 12 businesses, although this will not itself determine our winners.

Who are the judges?

At Stage 1 our judges will consist of senior representatives of the ASOS Retail and Fashion teams.

At Stage 2, ASOS Retail and Fashion judges will be joined by representatives from other ASOS business functions including Finance, Legal, Sourcing and Marketing.

At Stage 3, the panel will consist of:

  • Julia Sarr-Jamois - Senior fashion editor at i-D Magazine (our media partner for this competition)
  • Sharmadean Reid – Entrepreneur and founder of WAH Nails
  • Nikki Tattersall – Womenswear buying director at ASOS
  • John Mooney – Creative director, menswear and production at ASOS
  • Zeba Lowe - Head of fashion at ASOS
  • Nick Beighton – CEO at ASOS
  • Andrew Davis - Creative director at Wonderland and Rollacoaster
  • Joel McLoughin - Menswear blogger, YouTuber and member of Access All ASOS; and
  • Hilary Riva OBE – Non-executive director of ASOS and former CEO of the British Fashion Council

At each stage, the judges/panel will also include at least one individual who is independent from ASOS, whose name will be available on request by sending an email to asosfashiondiscovery@asos.com with “ASOS Fashion Discovery Competition 2016 Independent Judge” in the subject line (the email address will close two months after the Winners' Ceremony).

Where can I find more information about this competition?

Hopefully all the answers to your questions are in these FAQs and in the competition Ts&Cs. However if you have questions that remain unanswered please email: asosfashiondiscovery@asos.com

What are the key dates and deadlines?

This competition has 3 stages. Full dates for each stage are set out in the competition Ts&Cs, but please note the following in particular:

  • Stage 1 closes on Sunday 19 June 2016 (23:59 BST). We will confirm to each entrant by 1 July 2016 whether they have made the Longlist.
  • Stage 2 (only open to Longlisted businesses) will open on 4 July and close on 31 July 2016 (23:59 BST). We will confirm to each Longlisted business by 19 August 2016 whether they have made the Shortlist.
  • Stage 3 (only open to Shortlisted businesses) will involve (a) number of meetings and photo/video shoots both in the Shortlisted businesses’ offices and at ASOS HQ between 22 August and 9 September 2016 and (b) a panel session with our judges in a central London location on 11 or 12 October 2016. Key Individuals of Shortlisted businesses must be available for these dates (ASOS reserves the right to disqualify entrants for non-attendance).
  • We will contact all Shortlisted businesses by 14 October 2016 to confirm whether or not they are a winner. Our winners will be announced publicly at a Winners' Ceremony on 19 or 20 October 2016 in central London. Key Individuals from the winners must be available to attend the ceremony.

Will I or my business need to sign anything as part of entering the competition?

There are a few documents to be aware of:

  • By entering the competition, each business Representative confirms on behalf of their business that they have read and that their business agrees to the competition Ts&Cs.
  • Shortlisted businesses must keep the outcome of the competition confidential until the Winners' Ceremony. They will therefore need to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
  • Like all of ASOS’ branded suppliers, the winners will need to sign an ASOS branded supplier agreement. We will send a draft agreement to all Shortlisted businesses, and acceptance of the prize will be deemed acceptance of the supplier agreement.
  • Shortlisted businesses who accept the runners-up prize must agree to the ASOS Marketplace terms and conditions (and such other terms as ASOS may require, acting reasonably).

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Hopefully all the answers to your questions are in these FAQs and in the competition Ts&Cs. However if you have questions that remain unanswered please email: asosfashiondiscovery@asos.com

Why is this competition only open to UK businesses?

The competition is UK only for the first year, but as ASOS is a global fashion destination there is potential for us to roll out similar initiatives in key territories in the future.

My business is sold on ASOS Marketplace, can it enter?

Yes, businesses listed on ASOS Marketplace (a separate platform to ASOS.com, where independent third party boutiques sell direct to customers) can enter the competition. However, like all entrants and order to be fair, you won’t be able to get any help with your business's entry from any ASOS Marketplace contacts (or anyone else at ASOS or involved in the competition). Any entrant found to have tried to gain an undue advantage in the competition (including by a Representative or Key Individual or other business employee, director, consultant/advisor, or contractor asking for assistance with their application (at any stage in the competition) from any contact at ASOS or a competition judge) may be disqualified.

My business is a supplier of ASOS, can it enter?

Unfortunately this competition is not open to current suppliers of ASOS (branded and ASOS own-branded).

I am an employee of ASOS, can I enter my business?

To make sure the competition is conducted fairly, we cannot accept applications from businesses that are professionally connected to ASOS or a competition judge (either directly or indirectly). We therefore have to exclude businesses where a director or member of senior management (which will include all Representatives and Key Individuals) is:

  • An employee, director, consultant/advisor, or contractor of/to a company within the ASOS Group, or is directly involved in the competition (including judges); or
  • A husband/wife/partner or family member of the same household of - (i) a member of senior management of a company within the ASOS Group (i.e. Heads Of or above, including Board Members); and/or (ii) anyone directly involved in the competition (including judges).

Also excluded are businesses that are professionally connected to a competition judge, i.e. the competition judge, or a close family member (husband, wife, partner, mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter) of the competition judge, is an employee, director, member of senior management, consultant, contractor, advisor to, or investor in, the business.

If I am a finalist, will ASOS cover my expenses?

ASOS will cover standard return train travel to London (or equivalent transportation agreed in advance by ASOS) for the Shortlisted business's Key Individuals, to attend (a) photo and video shoot at ASOS HQ, and (b) panel session. We will also cover standard return train travel to London (or equivalent transportation agreed in advance by ASOS) and standard overnight accommodation (accommodation to be arranged by ASOS) for the winner’s Key Individuals, to attend the Winners’ Ceremony. Subject to this, any costs and expenses that you or your business incur in entering the competition shall be at your business's own cost and expense.

It’s worth noting that being a supplier to ASOS is likely to involve additional costs, which the winner will be responsible for. For example, all ASOS suppliers need a public liability insurance policy (of a level acceptable to ASOS) and need to comply with ASOS’ ethical/ CSR, sourcing, and delivery requirements.