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Becca & Stephanie to visit Denimatrix jeans facility
Apr '10
Two Texas Tech University student "jeaniuses" recently were named winners of the first Denim Runway competition for designing the best new women's and men's jeans. The competition was sponsored by Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) and Cotton Council International (CCI) in collaboration with the university's College of Human Sciences Department of Design's Apparel Design and Manufacturing program.

Junior Stephanie Hartwig was named for her winning pair of men's jeans, featuring a zigzag pattern; and Senior Becca Pierce's jeans - with the profile of a woman's face in an art nouveau style on the rear pocket of her design - won in the women's jeans division.

"Becca and Stephanie will go on to our Denimatrix jeans facility in Guatemala later this year to see how a new jean design goes into production and to have the opportunity to rub elbows with high-end designers in the denim apparel business," said Wally Darneille, PCCA President/CEO and 2010 President of CCI.

Cotton USA, a CCI program, will sponsor the winning designers on a trip to the ColombiaModa trade show in Medellin, Colombia, July 27-29 to give Hartwig and Pierce a comprehensive view of the entire industry from fiber to manufacturing to brand to retail. The Cotton USA display at this important apparel trade show highlights U.S. cotton yarns and fabrics from Cotton USA Sourcing Program member mills. Attendance at ColombiaModa will give the two winning students an opportunity to learn about the U.S. cotton textile industry and garment manufacturing companies throughout the Western Hemisphere.

"It was fascinating to see our fabrics transformed into the unique vision and aesthetic of each apparel design student," said Natalia Moore, a Denim Runway judge and Director of Human Resources for the American Cotton Growers denim mill, part of the Textile and Apparel Division of PCCA. "Not only did we see well-manufactured, trendy jeans, but also designers who understand the importance of retail and manufacturing considerations," Moore added. "Many of the students developed provocative label names and design concepts that have the potential to succeed in today's complex apparel market. It was evident that Texas Tech University's Apparel Design and Manufacturing program provides well-rounded preparation and training for students who want to work in the apparel industry."

For just over a month, more than 20 students vied for the winning Denim Runway design. The competition was based on the popular Lifetime reality series, Project Runway, where designer hopefuls vie for a spot in the winner's circle - and a healthy designer's contract.

"I had high hopes, and it all worked out," Hartwig said. "I wanted to design something that was different, eye-catching. And I wanted my design to be something for the guy who has a sense of style."

Obviously, the judges agreed with her work. Hartwig said that while she had her eyes set on the prize, the competition was fierce, and she complimented all who vied for the winners' spot.

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