Fashion designer Anastasia Iafrate was named the winner of the Supima Cotton Design Competition at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with the award presented by supermodel Coco Rocha. The intensive contest pitted the best fashion talent from the Academy of Art University, FIDM, FIT, Kent State University, SCAD and the Rhode Island School of Design.
Iafrate named her winning collection “White Nights of St. Petersburg" after her native home in Russia. Using what she considered a casual cotton fabric, she created regal evening wear with beautiful flourishes.
Beijing born Ou Ma graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology as a knit designer. Her dreamy, cloud-like collection was actually an exploration in mental illness and emotional recovery
Yuxi Bi from the Savannah College of Design is also from China. She created her romantic evening wear collection inspired by the texture of fine Supima fabrics.
Jenny Hoang represented the Academy of Art University. Her collection had a somber color palette. Her design work specializes in denim and cotton. Her theme for this group was "transformation".
Sharon Moon earned her BFA from RISD. Her gorgeous collection was inspired by the look of decaying flowers. She used a modern approach to create that aesthetic using an intricate laser cutting technique on strong cotton fibers.
David Lee is a West Coast-based designer representing the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. His collection had bold color blocked seams that flattered the curves of a woman's body.
The winner of the Supima Design Competition receives a $10000 prize. The more valuable opportunity though, is the chance for finalists to show their collection at New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. What I enjoy is the fresh talent that shows me new possibilities that a common fiber like cotton can bring. Great work designers!
photos by Mariana Leung