Modern National Costume — Find Your Inner North


We dress in a culture-neutral way. Some of us have never tried on a national costume. Some of us have been around many places and have no idea what the national dress would even be. And some of us have born into a wrong place, our hearts beat to a foreign culture for no logical reason and using a non-native dress would easily get stamped as the cultural appropriation.

So, how to find your inner North if you belong to many different cultures or if you feel distant even to you own folk dress?

We are looking for fresh and modern ideas about traditional costumes or meaningful national elements.

What in your traditions is worth spreading? What would make all of us better or just happier persons? How do you bring the stories of your ornaments to modern world and context? How would you blend different cultures in a meaningful way?

We all have different paths-Every now and then we crush into other cultures and integrate bits and pieces into our lives. That makes us “us”.

Tell your personal story, teach us something we don’t know or make us proud


  • INSPIRE! Is your design a cultural innovation? Does the concept provide the new, modern and original view on a national identity in a global world? Is the use of materials and techniques/technology creative?
  • EMPOWER! Do you connect people, cultures or groups? Does it have good influence on society? Is it democratic?
  • INTRIQUE! Do you question the status quo? Do you offer a visually surprising and smart solution?


We have no categories, you can present garments, accessories, shoes or other kinds of body related objects.


Contest  is organized by the Nordic Design Society. NDS is a new type of collaborative design office, focused on strategic use of design. Contest is open for designers, artists, students, innovators and those who can provide the required material.


Prize money is 1000 € total and it will be awarded to one entry.


NOV 1- DEC 31 2018: Submitting entries

JAN 2019: Screening entries

FEB 1 2019: Announcing winner

More information and application