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Cone Denim & NC State Host Selvedge Design Challenge

Cone Denim may be celebrating 125 years of history this year, but the mill is equally intent on looking to the future, which it demonstrated with a design contest promoting the future of denim design. The mill hosted the NC State White Oak Selvedge Denim Design Challenge in April at the Revolution Mills events center.

The contest required students to work with selvedge denim woven on Cone’s American Draper fly-shuttle looms to create a denim “work of art” currently unavailable in the marketplace.

The panel of judges was made up of François Girbaud, founder and owner of Marithé and François Girbaud; Scott Morrison, founder, president and designer of 3×1; and Amy Leverton, author of Denim Dudes.

From the group of submissions, a preliminary panel of judges chose 30 designs to present at the final event. The winning entry was designed by Kim Ring and Renne Graff, candidates for a BS in Fashion and Textile Design.

Ring and Graff designed a sports bralette and leggings with denim appliqued onto stretch fabric to bring strength and ruggedness to the activewear. The duo also designed a puffer jacket filled with recycled denim and detailed with selvedge dipped in reflective material.


The runner-up was Jackie Burns, a PhD candidate in the Textile Technology and Apparel Management program, who made a bleached denim dress with repeating images of David Bowie created with lenticular printing. Third place was Rachel Elizabeth Godown, an undergraduate senior in fashion and textile design. Godown created a one-shoulder denim gown created from strips of denim.


All these designs will be displayed at the Kingpins Show in New York (May 11-12). Ring and Graff were also awarded a trip to New York to attend the show and work with the Cone Denim Product Group. Second prize was $750 and third prize was $500.