Graduate Competes in New York Fashion Week’s Supima Cotton Design Competition

The competition serves as a global platform for fashion designers to launch their careers by using premium Supima cotton fabric.

Kent State University alumna Wendy Weng, representing the School of Fashion, made waves in the fashion world by participating in the prestigious 2023 Supima Design Competition at New York Fashion Week, held from September 7th to 13th.

The Supima Design Competition stands as a globally recognized showcase for emerging fashion designers. Its primary mission is to provide a platform for these promising talents to exhibit their creative work and take their first steps into the competitive fashion industry, as outlined on the competition’s website. This elite event invites eight selected designers to craft an exclusive line of evening wear, using Supima’s high-quality cotton fabric.

Nature-Inspired Collection for the Supima Cotton Competition

Wendy shared insight into the competition’s rigorous schedule. They followed a meticulous timeline, with May devoted to the design phase, June dedicated to muslin creations, and July reserved for fittings and any necessary adjustments. In August, they commenced the construction of our final garments. l

For the Supima Design Competition, Wendy Weng unveiled a clothing line that revolved around the theme of nature’s destruction and rebirth, inspired by her profound fascination with the cycle of nature. She elaborated on her inspiration, stating, “I find it very interesting how nature can endure various forms of destruction. It transitions from a flourishing plant to a stage of devastation, eventually being reduced to ashes. Then, from that lifeless state, it emerges stronger, like a larger tree. These cycles of nature are truly captivating.”

Weng’s line commenced with a long dress, embodying the vibrancy of a thriving plant, adorned with shades of green and brown that mimic the lush colors of a healthy tree. The second dress in her collection, shorter and adorned with brown and white hues, symbolized the process of decomposition. The third dress featured varying shades of brown to portray nature’s “death.”

Nature’s Resurgence and Networking Triumphs

The fourth dress marked the resurgence of nature, adorned with lighter shades of brown and intricate ruffles reminiscent of dried leaves. Finally, the fifth and last dress returned to vibrant green colors, signifying nature’s remarkable capacity for rejuvenation. The climax of the Supima Design Competition took place on September 7th, where designer Carla Pierini triumphed, securing the coveted $10,000 prize. Despite the outcome, Wendy Weng’s time in New York was filled with invaluable experiences. She interacted with fellow designers, fine-tuned her designs, and expanded her network in the fashion industry.

Designers participating in the event had the exceptional chance to interact with Jeremy Scott. Scott is a renowned designer who served as the competition’s host. Weng also had the opportunity to engage in discussions with journalists from leading fashion magazines. They included Women’s Wear Daily and Harper’s Bazaar, an experience that significantly influenced her career path. Initially unsure whether to specialize in ready-to-wear or lean towards couture, Wendy later discovered a satisfying middle ground.

Wendy believes that her participation in the Supima cotton competition will stand as a remarkable highlight on her résumé. She’s eager to explore career opportunities in the fashion mecca of New York City. Participating in New York Fashion Week as a designer is a monumental achievement for any emerging designer.” Wendy Weng’s remarkable journey has only just begun, promising a bright future in the fashion industry.

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