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Finalists Named for Supima Cotton Design Competition Taking Place on Instagram Live

Supima announced the final line-up of designers for its 13th annual Supima Cotton Design Competition, which will be hosted this year in a digital format in September, timed around New York Fashion Week.

“This year is the first time we will be hosting our annual Supima Cotton Design Competition in a virtual format and we are excited to see it come to life,” Buxton Midyette, vice president of marketing and promotions at Supima, told Sourcing Journal.

“The finalists will have a chance to showcase their collections created with Supima fabric in a runway show on Instagram Live, where their designs will be evaluated by a panel of judges made up of industry experts,” Midyette said. “The winner of the competition will receive $10,000 cash prize, as well as exposure to top fashion industry executives, fashion press and social media influencers.”

The six designers selected for this year’s competition who will present their collections in the digital showcase are Amanda Forastieri from Philadelphia’s Drexel University; 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.

The presentation on Instagram live will incorporate a mix of pre-recorded and live videos. Midyette said Supima is “thrilled to deliver the presentation in a new way that aligns with the ever-evolving media landscape and the digital direction that the fashion industry is moving toward.”

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With the new digital format of the presentation, Supima is working with skilled production teams that have the knowledge and experience to produce a digital showcase, he added.

“It’s been a challenging experience for sure, but we’re excited to share the collections produced by our finalists with an even broader audience,” Midyette said. “We’re truly just honored to still be able to give this talented group of designers the resources they need to create their collections. Knowing that recent graduates across the country have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to find jobs or platforms to share their designs, 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.”

The competition supports emerging talent by challenging student designers from the nation’s top fashion schools to create capsule collections using Supima cotton fabrics. Supima also announced that fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra will be returning for the sixth time as mentor to the finalists, providing thoughtful feedback and insight throughout the process.

Midyette said the finalists have all been flexible with the new format of the showcase this year and are eager to bring their designs to life.

“As up-and-coming designers, every finalist has been so professional and has shown true determination and hard work throughout this process so far,” he said. “The mentors and Bibhu have been connecting with the finalists virtually along the way to ensure that they have the proper guidance they need throughout the design process.”

Similar to years past, Supima is still planning to have a panel of judges made up of industry experts, Midyette said. Rather than have the jury review the collections in person, judges will be able to preview the full range of designs remotely via a pre-recorded video.