The SUPIMA Design Competition Is Back, Hosted By Christian Siriano & Coco Rocha! Meet The Eight Finalists (And See Their Collections!) Here

by The Daily Front Row

SUPIMA Design Competition is returning live to NYFW on September 10! The 15th annual competition brings together design students from around the country to compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and recognition from top industry leaders. The live runway show will be co-hosted at The Gallery at Spring Studios by the dynamic duo of award-winning designer Christian Siriano and supermodel and entrepreneur Coco Rocha. This year’s panel of judges who will evaluate the collections of the eight finalists includes Ann Caruso, Avril Graham, Cipriana Quann, Claire Thomson–Jonville, Edward Barsamian, Fern Mallis, Freya Drohan, Godfrey Deeny, Jeffrey Taylor (2016 SDC winner), Jerome Lamaar, Kelly Augustine, Lisa Lockwood, Luke Meagher, Mickey Boardman, Shibon Kennedy, and Tyler McCall. Once again, CFDA Award winning eveningwear designer, Bibhu Mohapatra, has supported the SDC for his eighth year as mentor to the finalists, providing insight, support, and advice to each contestant. You can watch all the buzz on the SUPIMA Instagram page on the night (7PM EST), but in the meantime, let’s get to know the finalists. Right this way!

Candice Tianyue, Academy of Art University

Candice Tianyu

What is the theme of your Supima Design Competition capsule collection?
The theme of my Supima Design Competition capsule collection is Imperfection, which was drawn inspiration from sculptures by American artist Annabeth Rosen. This collection is meant to express that evening wear doesn’t always emphasize women’s bodies perfectly, and people would view that as an “imperfection”. This collection aims to present unconventional evening wear, and pushes against the expectations of what “conventional” or “normal” evening wear should be like.

How would you describe your Supima collection?
Unconventional and dynamic.

How are you approaching this collection?
My design process varies from collection to collection. I always love to experiment with things during the process whether with collaging, draping, sketching, or making fabric samples. For this specific project, I initially approached making collage and doing digital draping, along with making 3D samples to develop silhouette. I then created my designs according to what I have explored from the silhouette development.

What is the inspiration?
The inspiration for the design of my Supima collection is sculptures by American artist Annabeth Rosen.

(Courtesy)

Chan-Kyoo Hwang, Drexel University

Chan-Kyoo Hwang

How does cotton play a role in your everyday life?
I connect cotton with comfort and as a result a lot of my cotton garments are sweats and t-shirts. However, I do have some finer clothing that is cotton that doesn’t feel like cotton at all, which surprises me and helps me realize that cotton can really do anything and be anything.

What is the theme of your Supima Design Competition capsule collection?
The theme of my Supima Design Competition is a self-reflection between the many moments of COVID. I examine the past, present, and future of the pandemic and how I felt to influence the overall mood of the collection.

What are you most looking forward to in this competition?
I am looking most forward to seeing the models wearing my garments and seeing my vision come to life! Also, I look forward to making new connections and seeing the other designer’s vision and collection.

What is the inspiration for the design of your Supima collection?
My collection is inspired by my self-reflection between the many moments of pre-COVID to now. I want to show a translation in my perspective through textile design to garment construction, design, and fabrication.

Fabian Renteria, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

Fabian Renteriav

How did you hear about the Supima Design Competition? 
I heard about the Supima design competition through the FIDM Instagram page while I was in the AA Fashion Design Program. I chose to apply because I felt that this would be an excellent opportunity to push myself further creatively, take my career to the next level and to be able to present during NYFW.

Tell us about your collection.
My Collection titled “Game over?” refers to the bright, futuristic, technological street culture of Tokyo, Japan. This collection incorporates saturated, neon colors with a custom distorted, perspective-driven print that brings graphic, couture streetwear front and center. Being around Asian culture in Los Angeles has inspired me to create a collection that celebrates what inspires me about Tokyo Japan.

What did your initial experiments with Supima reveal about the fabric?
Letting the fabric speak to you and letting it tell you what it can do is key versus trying to make it do something it is not meant to do.

What are you most looking forward to in this competition?
I would say receiving feedback, working with industry professionals, creating a new collection, and being challenged with five different cottons without any outside textiles is what I am looking forward to most. I love a challenge and look forward to how my ideas for the collection will translate.

 

Bryan Barrientos, Fashion Institute of Technology

Bryan Barrientos

What is the theme of your Supima Design Competition capsule collection?
The theme of my Supima Design Competition capsule collection focuses on the artisanal practices that comes from my culture, primarily focusing on the Peruvian Highlands.

How would you describe your Supima collection?
It’s filled with messages and symbolism to depict a sort of storytelling through manipulation of fabrics and silhouette shaping.

Can you tell us about your design process? 
I am experimenting with past work silhouettes and fabric manipulations to come up with new shapes and volumes.

What is the inspiration for the design of your Supima collection?
My inspiration for this collection are the silhouettes of the traditional wear of the people of the Peruvian Highlands. Through their artisanal practices they get to tell a story and that is the goal of this collection.

How has fabric choice impacted your designs?
I have never worked on evening wear pieces with cotton, so it has impacted my designs in the sense that I need to delegate certain shapes and weight onto other cotton weight fabrics for this collection. Breathability is key and that will lead the direction of new outcomes.

Antonia Bruno, Kent State University

Antonia Bruno

How would you describe your Supima collection?
Dense and textural.

How are you approaching this collection?
My design process really starts with a little bit of sketching, then sampling, and then back to more sketching. I really like to think things through and sketching is a good way for me to do that, but it also allows me to explore other options without being set on one design element.

What is the inspiration for the design of your Supima collection?
My inspiration really draws from the environment. As a child we were constantly moving around and I’ve been privileged to have lived in so many different places. It also engrained how important it was to enjoy the environment you’re in and that you need to take care of and preserve nature so that others can also find enjoyment/solace in it.

How did you hear about the Supima Design Competition? And why did you choose to apply?
As a design student it’s hard not to know about the Supima design competition. Supima really offers incredible exposure and opportunities to newly graduated students that makes it difficult to not want to partake in. I decided to apply because in some ways it was a way to redeem and elevate my portfolio after mistakenly deciding not to pursue a BFA in design. COVID, and being virtual for what was realistically two years, disrupted mine and many others’ college experiences and I momentarily let that determine my success instead of pursuing what I really wanted. Supima was an opportunity that I didn’t want to let pass me by.

What did your initial experiments with Supima reveal about the fabric?
Work with the fabric not against it. It also has great dyeing possibilities.

Taku Yhim, The New School Parsons

Taku Yhim

How would you describe your Supima collection?
White noise can be noise by having the same wavelength, but it can also be a sound that people can feel relaxed. In the same sense as the title, the project has the meaning of creating armor that can protect people and find stability in today’s noisy society, such as prejudice. Japanese samurai armor is an inspiration for the concept. The main part of the concept is that Japanese armor, a composition of many layers, can create people’s symbolism.

Can you tell us about your design process? 
My design inspiration comes mainly from something intangible, such as emotions. In order to express the incorporeality as inspiration, I research and observe existing beings related to history, events, art, and external inspiration, in which the existence was expressed in the past. Through the research, I express silhouette and construction. The color of my design identity is black, and I express the purity of inspiration through black. I challenged and studied mixed materials during the design process since I used only black in the design.

What is the inspiration for the design of your Supima collection?
Japanese Samurai armor.

How has fabric choice impacted your designs?
It is an opportunity to decide the fabric through the ideas given by each inspiration. In other words, to me, the fabric is an important way of expressing inspiration as a design.

Michelle Sumin Suh, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Michelle Sumin Suh

What is the theme of your Supima Design Competition capsule collection?
Metamorphosis.

How would you describe your Supima collection?
My Supima collection is an ode to everyone living for their passion; taking risks, enduring pain, persevering through metamorphosis. I want this collection to be bold, fierce, yet elegant couture evening wear pieces.

How are you approaching this collection?
This collection is yet another metamorphosis for me as well, a collection where I would be learning how to become a designer, not just a student. It’s really an opportunity for me to investigate and explore fabrics, dyeing/printing processes I haven’t practiced yet, etc. I’ve never designed for a specific occasion (evening wear,) and this will also be an exciting challenge for me to design for an appropriate target audience and event.

What is the inspiration for the design?
Waves, change, shadow, Oongnyeo (Korean creation myth of bear transforming into a human,) Greek transformation myths such as Echo, Psyche, Circe, Daphne, etc.

How has fabric choice impacted your designs?
The sets of Supima fabrics I’m provided with: velveteen, shirting, jersey, twill, and denim, really set different boundaries for me in terms of the design process. Although I do get inspired from fabrics about the silhouettes, and add bits of fabric manipulations into my collection, I rely more heavily on color and shape (both flat patterning and draping) when developing silhouettes. Hence the SDC is a challenge for me in that I will have to learn how to highlight/rely more on the fabrics, instead of building silhouettes first, then going back to choose materials.

When did you first learn about Supima?
I first learned about Supima when I was in middle school or high school, at different stores such as Uniqlo. Supima always had quality collaborations with different brands, and I remember purchasing a lot of items/clothes from the Supima lines.

 

 

Hu Jun Yi, Rhode Island School of Design

Hu Jun Yi

What is the theme of your Supima Design Competition capsule collection?
The theme of my collection is Consciousness.

How would you describe your Supima collection?
My collection features a lot of elegant, streamlined silhouettes. It is meant to exude a calm and confident energy for everyone to meditate upon.

How are you approaching this collection?
Following my concept, I explored ideas of meditation and transcendental boundaries by first referencing images that could transport me to that state of mind. It could be an abstract photograph, or simply a location where I felt at peace. I derive my color scheme and silhouettes from said images before working intuitively on a form.

What is the inspiration for the design of your Supima collection?
My main inspiration comes from the elements. I am attracted to the idea of ripples through a calm stream, or the way air traverses through our lungs.

How has fabric choice impacted your designs?
Certain cotton samples work remarkably well in terms of lending structure, which was helpful in creating volume without the use of interfacing or boning. The softer cottons were handy reducing bulk so that I may create multiple layers of pleating while still making the fabric possible to sew.

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