Supima Design Competition: Unique emerging talent

Photo by: JP Yim/Getty Images for Supima

Photo by: JP Yim/Getty Images for Supima

Photo by: JP Yim/Getty Images for Supima

A few weeks ago, Supima Design Competition invited me to its 12th annual show at Pier59 Studios. Supima, which produces America’s luxury cotton, partnered with 8 leading design schools. Together, they selected the top graduating seniors from each of these schools as finalists for the show. The designer mentor for the competition was Bibhu Mohapatra. The contest expected these finalists to find creative ways to showcase Supima cotton. The show started with a brief interview with Buxton Midyette, VP of Marketing and Promotions at Supima. Then, it took a peak at each finalist’s background and vision. So much incredible talent in this show!

The Supima Design Competition then moved on to a collection by Gina (Zinan) Guo from Drexel University. Her sustainable collection is inspired by the Great Barrier Reef and features sculpture and engineered printing and coral bleaching. My favorite look was a Supima Twill Digital Printed Jumpsuit with Paillette Embroidery.

Next, Andrew Kwon from Parsons School of Design showcased his collection, which is inspired by his father. It’s a mix of elegance, modernity, and mystery. My favorite look was a red Supima jersey gown with floral motifs and train.

The 3rd finalist was Ishwari Vijh from FIT whose collection is inspired by her own previous work over the past few years. She focuses on separation and loss of reality. I loved her red and blue Supima Denim oversized coat with a plaid pattern.

The fourth finalist was Yoohyeon Kim from SCAD who was inspired by the Herero people in Namibia. Her collection unveils intrinsic beauty and uniqueness. My favorite look was a Supima halter coat dress with round sleeves and a blue floral digital print.

The fifth finalist was Isabel Hajian from RISD whose collection was inspired by kids playing dress up. Her collection is whimsical and mysterious. I loved her Supima jersey princess dress that had a cascading skirt and vine-like sleeves.

The sixth finalist was Linh La from Academy of Art University who drew inspiration from the works of artist/fiber sculptor Judith Scott. Her collection features embellishments and artistic fabrications. My favorite look was a floral white Supima twill a-line dress with side pleated panels and yarn embellishment.

The seventh finalist was Illene Martoseno from FIDM whose collection was inspired by taking  fabric beyond its limits. Her collection has a three-dimensional quality to it. I loved her orange and blue ombre Supima jersey twisted top and skirt with boning detail.

The eighth finalist was Shuxian Kong from Kent State University who drew inspiration from her childhood. She features a lot of graphic prints and paneling. My favorite look was a mixed print Supima shirting gown with looping panels and train.

The decision making process looked tough with so many creative designs, but the judges picked a winner. Gina (Zinan) Guo won for her original coral bleaching designs a $150,000 cash prize. What an incredible competion! Congrats to all of the finalists of the Supima Design Competition!


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