For the first time ever, the Supima Design Competition is going fully digital! The presentation will be streamed on @Supima via Instagram live on Sept. 10 at 3 p.m. EST. Each year the competition supports emerging talent, pulling hopeful designers from the nation’s top fashion schools.
This year, six have made it to the finals after creating capsule collections using Supima cotton fabrics. And we’re giving you a sneak peek of their inspirations and designs before the digital presentation during “Fash Week.” Here’s the first set of finalists, but stay tuned as we share the rest of the finalists tomorrow.
Plus! Check out their moodboards on our Insta Stories tomorrow too to get fully immersed in their visions.
FINALIST 1: AMANDA FORASTIERI, DREXEL UNIVERSITY
How did you become interested in fashion design?
I can’t remember the exact moment. I’ve always been into art since I was a child. I remember going to art camp and taking classes in many types of fine arts mediums growing up, from painting and mosaics to print-making and papier-mâché. There’s a handwritten letter I wrote in sixth grade that says, “When I grow up, I want to be a fashion design.” I guess that’s my earliest recollection.
What’s the theme of your Supima capsule collection?
Utopia. The garments I created for this will serve as messengers of a better future after the crisis. As we’re forced to adapt to a new normal, we are also forced to further question our system currently in place, and how it doesn’t work for most of us. This collection aims to portray the hopeful story of a near future post-COVID, in which humans realize how the current systems in place harm the environment as well as others. We all work together to tear it down and build a new one; one that stems from love and respect for the planet, and most importantly each other.
Tell us about your process.
I started this project with geometric paper cutouts, and the many possibilities that could be created by adding math and repetition to the equation for more sustainable and minimal waste designs. I like to think of my designs as three-dimensional canvases; silhouette and print complimenting each other and working together to tell my story. I started playing around with this idea of geometric-to-organic duality to represent cities outgrown by nature, as well as the inter-connectivity of nature and humans, and create representations of this utopia we should all collectively work towards to build a better system that works for everyone, especially bi and POC who are our most vulnerable communities today.
FINALIST 2: TERRENCE ZHOU, PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN / THE NEW SCHOOL
Is this your first time participating in a competition?
As an artist and a designer based in NYC, my work has been featured in Vogue, WWD, NY Times, NPR, Zappos, Schöne, and more. In 2017, I won the the $1,000 cash prize from Healthy Material Lab for proposing a healthy material for hospital gowns. In 2019, our design proposal for Clé de Peau Beauté (the ultra-luxury line of Shiseido), a collaboration project with the leading executives from Shiseido, was presented at the LVMH headquarters in NY.
How would you describe your design training?
At Parsons, we are encouraged to re-imagine future, and we are learning by drawing all different kinds of pathways and collaborating with all walks of life. For me, the best design training is when we can contribute our effort together and make our world a more innovative yet better place.
Tell us about your capsule collection.
The theme of my thesis collection is called: Living is a performance. It’s an archive that documents the most hilarious and personal moments of my life. I dedicate much time and energy to heightening my physical perfection. I aim to project the best parts of me whilst burying and blurring my fragility. My ambition for my collection was to control the viewer, offering an expression of unapologetic beauty with the impenetrable barrier of confusion and farce.
FINALIST 3: JENNIE NGUYEN, KENT STATE UNIVERSITY / SCHOOL OF FASHION
How did you first hear about Supima?
It was during junior year when I was deciding between doing a Bachelor of Fine Art or a Bachelor of Arts degree for my senior year. I decided to [pursue] the B.A. so that I could focus on building my portfolio, but still fulfill my dream of creating eveningwear through the Supima Design Competition.
You describe your capsule collection theme as “Iceberg and its environmental issue.” Tell us more about that concept.
Global warming has become one of the most profound problems in our world today, yet both the awareness as well as solution seem to be quite far-fetched. My design is mainly inspired by the beauty of the shape of the iceberg and its texture. The iceberg, by itself, appears to be a beautiful work of nature. However, when put in the perspective of environmental influence, the iceberg carries a concealed hazard. What is underneath is the unknown. It can either be the act of preservation of mother Earth or the consequences of human’s destruction. By observing the texture of an iceberg, I noticed that I could use interfacing to achieve these organic, “unintentional” folds. I used interfacing to secure the folds, which imitates the texture of the iceberg. Some folds are intentional, some are not. To enhance the three dimensional effect, I created prints from the surface of the ice.
So the selection of fabrics must have been crucial to create that look.
The fabric choices have been an important factor in this collection. As we are required to use five Supima cotton fabrics, I really had to study the fabric texture and the drape of each in order to achieve the desired effect. Twill, denim, and velveteen tend to give better drape compared to knit and shirting. The interfacing method may vary between fabrics.
All videos by Titre Provisoire.