Amanda Forastieri, a fashion design graduate from Philadelphia’s Drexel University, won the 13th annual Supima Cotton Design Competition–the first presented in a digital format, on Thursday with a collection titled Utopia.
Working with Supima cotton fabrics supplied by Albini, Brooks Brothers, Colorich, Olah Inc., Olimpias, Rainbow, Tintex and Uniqlo, Forastieri’s collection aimed to portray a hopeful story of a near future post-Covid world in which humans unite to build a new system, one that prioritizes care and respect for the planet and, most importantly, one another.
“I’m so happy to be here and I can’t wait to see where all this leads me,” Forastieri said.
She showed a denim oversize short-sleeve top with palm-leaf appliqués over a high-waisted short with floral appliqués, a shirting full-length dress with balloon sleeves and cascading cowl details in an original floral print, a twill jumpsuit cut in low-waist technique featuring sculptural sleeves and a geometric all-over print, a jersey midi dress featuring vertically scalloped ruffle discs, and a velveteen asymmetrical oversize top and skirt featuring original print and palm leaf appliqués.
“We’re all together facing the challenges that the Covid crisis has brought,” Buxton Midyette, vice president of marketing and promotions at Supima, said. “This is really about supporting the next generation of designers. We couldn’t be prouder to share these looks with the fashion industry.”
Forastieri was chosen by a panel of judges following a runway-style presentation moderated by image architect Law Roach on Instagram Live. She will receive a $10,000 cash prize, as well as exposure to top fashion industry executives, fashion press and social media influencers.
She bested design student graduates Sakura Mizutani of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, Jenny Feng from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Jennie Nguyen of Ohio’s Kent State University, Terrence Zhou from the Parsons School of Design in New York and Kyra Buenviaje from the Rhode Island School of Design.
“Usually this takes place during New York Fashion Week, but we’re so excited this year to be able to present the Supima Design Competition online so that everybody gets a chance to see the incredible designers and their talents,” Law said in introducing the show.
Earlier this year, each of the designers was assigned a faculty mentor, provided fabric from Supima’s top brand partners and asked to create capsule collections of women’s evening wear that highlighted the special characteristics of Supima cotton. The Supima Design Competition required each designer to rethink familiar fabric conventions to create their capsule collections.
Fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra returned for the sixth time as mentor to the finalists, providing thoughtful feedback and insight throughout the process. The team at Supima, including Mohapatra, held countless virtual meetings and fittings, to make the 2020 Supima Design Competition a reality.
The competition supports emerging talent by challenging student designers from the nation’s top fashion schools to create capsule collections using Supima cotton fabrics.