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Supima Design Competition 2022 marks fifteenth anniversary during NYFW

By Jackie Mallon

Sep 13, 2022


Getty Images for Supima

The Supima Design Competition celebrated its fifteenth anniversary this NYFW and honored the occasion by welcoming two hosts for its runway show event. The dynamic duo were designer Christian Siriano who is well-accustomed to the fashion competition setting with his role on Project Runway, and model and entrepreneur Coco Rocha who wore a striking pink Siriano gown.

The competition was fierce this year warranting an especially illustrious jury panel. It included Claire Thomson-Jonville, Editorial Director of i-D France; Avril Graham, Fashion & Beauty Director Harpers Bazaar; Fern Mallis, creator of New York Fashion Week; Freya Drohan, Executive Fashion Director at Daily Front Row; Mickey Boardman, Editor at Large of Paper Magazine; Godfrey Teeny, Global Editor-in-Chief of FashionNetwork.com.

Getty Images for Supima Co-hosts Coco Rocha and Christian Siriano
Returning as the competition’s resident mentor to guide the competing designers as they create their collections was CFDA designer Bibhu Mohapatra. Eight of the US’s top schools were represented by a recent graduate or current student who is tasked with using Supima's American-grown Pima cotton to create 5 runway looks. Supima cotton is cultivated across 300 farms operated in the west and south west of the country and the iterations on display ranged from velveteen, shirting, and twill to knit, denim, and organza which in the designers' hands was then dyed, knitted, smocked, pleated, ruffled, and embroidered to suit their individual inspiration and aesthetic vision.
Getty Images for Supima; L-Chan Kyoo Hwang from Drexel University R-Candace Tianyu from Academy of Art University
The schools involved this year were Academy of Art University; Drexel University; Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising; Fashion Institute of Technology; Kent State University; Parsons School of Design; Rhode Island School of Design; and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

It was a particularly strong year in which the designers took cotton to places it doesn’t often venture. Standouts included the Tokyo and anime-inspired collection from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising graduate Fabian Renteria who entitled his neon-saturated range of elevated streetwear “Game Over?” The cropped and caged shapes, circular silhouettes in denim, and graphic color palette created a bold effect against the industrial style runway of Spring Studios.

Getty Images for Supima: L-Fabian Renteria R-Antonia Bruno

Just graduated from Kent State University Antonia Bruno’s environmental activism inspired her decision to use quilting, laser cutting, and ruffled appliqués in a rich palette of contrasting teals, purples and kelp green in order to represent the red tides, the term which describes the discoloration of coastal waters caused by a surplus of algae. Bruno describes her approach as thoughtful, inquisitive and exploratory, the result of a childhood steeped in the great outdoors.

Getty Images for Supima; Taku Yhim and his winning collection

The winning collection by Taku Yhim from Parsons School of Design who received a prize of 10,000 dollars, showcased an unsurpassed level of craftsmanship, all the more remarkable when seen from the audience considering every piece was black. His palette contained Ocean Black, Sky Black, Peacock Black, Midnight Black and Jet Black. Inspired by Japanese Samurai armor, the sensual layers evoked a tranquility and mysticism only heightened by the delightful play of hard and soft; padded panels next to fluttering fringe, hand-knitted yarn next to hewn wood.

Getty Images for Supima; Panel of judges and mentors
design competition
student fashion