The search for Africa’s next rising star designer is underway and the excitement is building. Meet Emilie Gambade- ELLE’s Editor and Rising Star Design Award judge.

What are you looking for in 2015’s ERS winner?  

Flair, audacity, skills, love and care.

The moment you first fell in love with fashion was…  

Watching my grandmother transforming beautiful fabrics into dresses, her back bent over the Singer sewing machine, a clinking sound following her agile fingers.

Favourite item in your wardrobe right now? 

A camel cape-duffle coat in wool that keeps me warm in winter.

What stands out for you when reviewing the storyboards and collection sketch books submitted with entries? 

Flair, audacity, skills, craftsmanship, love and care. And a strong vision.

Highlight of your career so far? 

Not one, but many! The people I have met, the friendships I have made, the team I am surrounded by, the projects we tackle and the challenges we face together: every morsel of the journey is a highlight.

Your style in three words. 

Less is more.

Instagram or Twitter? 

Instagram – visuals can say so much more than 140 characters…

Top tips for anyone wanting to enter ERS 2015? 

Be curious, ask questions, do your research; tell a cohesive story; make sure that what you design on paper will be feasible in reality.

Have you entered #ELLERisingStar yet? If not, enter here now!