The COVID-19 pandemic has plagued the lives of all, but that did not stop Amanda Forastieri, a Class of 2020 alumna in Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. Forastieri is now working in fashion and apparel design after winning the Supima Fashion Design Competition during New York City’s Fashion Week.
Judged by a panel of industry leaders, Forastieri took home first place at the competition, winning $10,000 to jump-start her career while gaining proper exposure to the fashion world.
Titled “Utopia,” her project used Supima cotton fabrics to demonstrate a post-COVID world. In her vision, humans come together as one and rebuild society with one priority: to care for each other and the earth. Using vibrant colors and intricate design techniques, Forastieri was able to convey her vision to the judges.
“The Utopia that I represent through these garments is a world where all these hierarchies that keep us unequal are overcome,” Forastieri said. “I looked a lot at the outdoors and the environment I had around me and I really tried to catch on that to create a visual presentation of a better world. What I am most excited about is seeing this vision come to life.” Forastieri provided a brief summary of her clothing capsule.
The Supima Design Competition first started in 2008 as a local design competition. Fast-forward 12 years, and it has become an international event showcased during New York’s Fashion Week.
The competition partners with eight of the top design schools in the United States, including Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. A recent graduate from six of these schools is invited to showcase their design styles. These six graduates are pitted against each other, competing in hopes of winning $10,000 and connections to notable fashion designers, social media influencers and industry leaders. Many of the winners even go on to work for companies such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and other brand name fashion enterprises.
“This is really about supporting the next generation of designers. We couldn’t be prouder to share these looks with the fashion industry,” said Buxton Midyette, Supima’s Vice President of Marketing and Promotion, .
The six finalists are charged with one goal: to develop a line of women’s fashion that conveys an ideal message and resonates with the judges, using a provided mentor and Supima premium cotton. With the respected competition platform, competitors have an opportunity to translate their styles from sketches to a real runway, and they observe the best way to do that while catering to their own taste.
This year’s competition was different from others. With a ban on large gatherings in New York City, the Supima Competition was forced to stream their competition on Instagram Live. Law Roach, a prominent stylist, was called to host the event, but even with these changes, thousands of viewers tuned in to see the anticipated runway.
“I am so humbled to be part of such a wonderful program that continues to lend its platform and resources to emerging designers, especially given the impact this year has had on their education and graduation opportunities,” Roach said.
Forastieri was announced as the winner of the competition at the end of the runway.
“It is such a privilege to design alongside five amazing designers and five amazing artists… I am so happy to be here, and I can’t wait to see where all of this leads me,” Forastieri said.