In Supima’s 11th annual design competition, seven students enrolled in fashion programs across the United States competed for a chance to win $10,000 and get their name and designs into the industry. As it does every year, Supima challenged each designer to create five looks using solely its cotton.
Paula Amaral, Academy of Art University
Amaral described her collection as a “transition between two worlds.” The collection kept to a monochromatic color palette to place focus on the contrast between structure and movement.
Bryn Lourié, Rhode Island School of Design
Lourié declared the ideal woman she designs for — one who is “strong, soft, and beautiful” just like Supima fabrics. Her pieces draped elegantly over the models’ bodies emitting waves in the shade of vibrant corals and blues.
Alanna Lizun, Kent State University
This collection transformed the cotton by adding structure, and using woven pieces of material. She used vibrant oranges and reds in most of her pieces, and she created large pleats that made intricate shapes in her designs. Lizun had support from her peers who traveled to the U.S.’s fashion capital to see her designs. “I’m excited to support Alanna and my school,” said Sage Dye, one of Lizun’s peers. “I think it’s a really exciting competition because it’s one of the few opportunities that the top fashion schools have to work together.”
Genevieve Lake, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Lake based her collection on the “paper doll concept.” She wanted her designs to look different from the front and back, like someone who puts on a different identity for social media.
Lili Shi, Fashion Institute of Technology
The winner of the competition, Shi, described her collection as something that people can open and redesign by themselves. When I asked if she felt restricted by the cotton, she replied, “I like restriction because it can give you a challenge, see how far you can push.” Shi treated the fabric to create a texture that was similar to suede.
Jessica Chang, Parsons School of Design
Chang’s collection shows her duality in that she is both a designer and a storyteller. Many of her designs had distressed edges and emphasized the texture of the garments.
Jessica Rubinstein, Savannah College of Art and Design
Her collection was composed of blue and white pieces with stiff structure. The room was amazed as her show-stopping final gown came down the runway.
As the lights dimmed, show goers — family, friends and industry professionals — rushed out of their seats to shower the designers with praise and warm embraces. Shi gave a closing speech as she was awarded the competition prize. Through her beaming smile, she disclosed, “It is so surreal. I can’t believe it right now. It finished so fast.”
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