Supima cotton held its 10th annual design competition yesterday at Pier 59 in Chelsea. Seven students from the nation’s top design schools were chosen to compete for a $10,000 check from Supima to jumpstart their design careers. Each collection was made exclusively from donated Supima cotton fabrics from the organization’s partners including AG Jeans, Brooks Brothers, and Uniqlo. The winner of this year’s award went to Alyssa Wardrop, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Wardrop, who was notably moved by her win, thanked those who had helped her along the way including those who had gone on endless coffee runs for her during her design process.
June Ambrose hosted the runway show for the first time and designer Bibhu Mohapatra served as a mentor to the designers for the third year in a row. “There’s nothing more gratifying than to work with the future of our industry,” said Mohapatra backstage. “Also, going through the process with them is incredible. I try to give them whatever I know from my experience.” Mohapatra credited Fern Mallis as having served as his mentor, who also was a judge for the competition. Other judges included Fitz. Co co-founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, stylist Carmen Lilly, ELLE executive market editor Jade Frampton, Fashion Unfiltered founder Katharine Zarrella, Allure market director Nicole Chapoteau, The Daily Front Row fashion editor Paige Reddinger, S’well founder Sarah Kauss, 3×1 designer Scott Morrison, WWD business reporter Tracey Greenstein, Fashionista deputy editor Tyler McCall, and Observer columnist Zach Weiss.
Mohapatra said they have been in talks to form a Supima Design Competition alumni group to further help young designers realize their dreams of working in the industry.