On Thursday, the Supima Design Competition was back on the runway for the first time since Covid made it virtual. Judging from the intense color and playful volumes displayed, the six finalists were determined that this day would be a milestone in their growing design careers.

The competition was established in 2008 and challenges students to design a capsule collection using the company’s premium cotton. It will be presented at NYFW, followed by a high-profile presentation in Paris. The designers push the boundaries of America‚Äôs favorite fabric to luxury high fashion every year.

group of women wearing dresses in a fashion show

Law Roach, a returning celebrity stylist, hosted the runway event at 608 Fifth Avenue. A reception followed.

Supima Design Competition students make a splash on NYFW runways

Alana Tolliver, Kent State University’s representative, explores self-doubt in a maximal aesthetic and questions the notion that sustainability is synonymous with minimalism. Her motto “Don’t tone down” is displayed in quilted bows and tiered silhouettes. She also uses a joyous clash of plaids and abstract prints in uncommon color combinations.

Yitao Li (Fashion Institute of Technology) was inspired by the idea of displacement. She also played with the idea of Photoshop tricking the viewer into believing they can see something other than reality.

Cat Pfingst, Drexel, addresses the notion of permanence and disposability with her collection. Her love of thrifting and research into the effects clothing heat has on clothing have influenced her designs. The form is shaped by bold black and white geometrics, culminating in a quilted coat.

Jiarui Cai, a hip-hop dancer from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising brings her lifestyle and culture to a streetwear collection featuring neon brights and sculptural shapes. This demonstrates the need for society to let go of its conditioning.

woman wearing dresses walking on catwalk

Yuki Xu Rhode Island School of Design has created a collection that celebrates the passage of time. She compares wrinkles, laxity and visible veins to natural phenomena, such as tree bark or fungus.

Bora Kim, School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection “The Invisible Season” focuses on the details of dropped waits and ballooning sleeves.

Yuki Xu was awarded the prize in recognition of her distinctive fabric textures, earthy colors palettes and classic silhouettes. Xu is awarded a $10,000 prize.

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