Supima, the nonprofit luxury American-grown Pima cotton brand, unveiled its 13th annual design competition for recent design college graduates on Instagram Live.
Hosted by celebrity image architect Law Roach, the Supima Design Competition featured six cutting edge designers competing for a $10,000 prize. Each designer presented a capsule evening wear collection using Supima cotton fabrics, ranging from avant-garde looks to subtle gowns. CFDA award-winning evening wear designer Bibhu Mohapatra returned as a mentor for the finalists for the sixth consecutive year.
Designers Sakura Mizutani (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising), Jenny Feng (Fashion Institute of Technology), Jennie Nguyen (Kent State University), Terrence Zhou (Parsons School of Design), and Kyra Buenviaje (Rhode Island School of Design) were runner-ups to the winner, Amanda Forastieri (Drexel University).
Forastieri’s collection of textured eye-catching ensembles was entitled “Utopia,” and sought to illuminate the beauty of a new beginning. Her work “aims to portray the hopeful story of a near-future post-COVID in which humans unite to build a new system, one that stems from love and respect for the planet and most importantly, each other,” the Supima Design Competition described in a statement.
“Utopia” caught the eye of the 20-person jury, including Harper’s BAZAAR executive fashion and beauty editor Avril Graham, Marie Claire chief fashion director Aya Kanai, Fashionista.com editor-in-chief Tyler McCall, bridal designer Karen Sabag, and E! Entertainment host and producer Lilliana Vazquez.
While Forastieri was deemed the winner, all six of the designers received an unprecedented spotlight to hopefully launch their careers. “We are truly honored to continue working with our design school partners to give this talented group of their recent graduates the resource they need to create their collections. This year’s design school graduates across the country have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to find jobs or platforms to share their designs,” Supima VP of Marketing and Promotions Buxton Midyette said. “We knew it was more important than ever to stay nimble and shift this competition into a virtual format that would help these recent graduates with their first step into the fashion industry post-graduation.”