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Mercedes-Benz Start Up completes its 2012 cycle and commences the 2013 season with a call for new applicants

Mercedes-Benz CLA

TORONTO--Feb. 19, 2013: Mercedes-Benz Start Up, Canada's premiere program for emerging designers, is kicking off the 2013 season with a call for new applicants. Aspiring fashion designers from across the nation seeking mentorship and the opportunity to showcase their work in front of an international audience at World MasterCard Fashion Week are encouraged to apply at Mercedes-Benz Startup .

To officially conclude the exciting 2012 cycle, Awarded Designer DUY will debut his 2013 Fall Collection on the Toronto runways on March 19, 2013 during World MasterCard Fashion Week. Duy Nguyen, designer behind the eponymous brand, DUY, was one of eight finalists chosen by a panel of industry experts after last year's nationwide search. Following an impressive showing of all eight collections in October, the judging panel selected DUY as the Mercedes-Benz Start Up Awarded Designer for 2012 and subsequently invited him to present his designs in a solo show.

DUY has gained invaluable experience to prepare him for this next phase of the program through mentorship from many industry experts including Bernadette Mora, Editor-in-Chief of FASHION Magazine and Barbara Atkin, Fashion Director at Holt Renfrew. Additionally, DUY also received accolades in numerous fashion publications and the attention of industry experts nationwide, supporting the program's mission of helping young designers reach their business objectives.

"Mercedes-Benz Start Up offers aspiring designers the opportunity to be discovered, mentored and groomed to become successful business owners," says Jarrad Clark, Director of Global Production, IMG Fashion Events and Properties. "The beauty of this program is that you do not need to live in Toronto or a metropolis to apply or be a part of this experience. We travel across the nation to make it easily accessible for designers to meet with our panel in a place close to home as we believe there is hidden talent across the country."

"We are thrilled that the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program continues to gain momentum and prominence across Canada," said JoAnne Caza, Director of Communications and Public Relations, Mercedes-Benz Canada. "As we enter our third cycle, we remain committed to further expanding our network of mentors and alumni to provide tangible benefits for participants. Our judges and mentors continue to be impressed and inspired by the incredible talent that exists from coast-to-coast, and we look forward to continuing to showcase Canada's best and brightest emerging designers through this important ongoing initiative."

Those interested in applying are required to submit an application that includes a portfolio and an outlined plan of their business goals. More details and the full application are available at Mercedes-Benz Startup