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Anna Romero's flirty, beaded dress to take prize at Academy

Jun '09
The International Academy of Design & Technology (the Academy) announced that graduating high school senior, Anna Romero, the local winner for the Academy - Las Vegas, has been named the winner of its national fashion design contest. She and nine other high school seniors saw their original designs come to life on the IMAGINE 2009 runway in Chicago on May 21 in front of an audience of more than 1000 people. That evening, Romero's name was announced as the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship (valued at more than $50,000) to attend the Academy in Las Vegas.

Prior to the IMAGINE 2009 event, the young designers presented their concepts to a panel of judges. They shared with the judges how they created the garments, searched for the perfect fabric, how mistakes became design elements and how they did handwork (such as beading) to assemble a unique piece. The clothing ranged from day wear that was functional to dramatic evening gowns. The two runners up were: Demetrius Denton, of Chicago and Mark Jones II, of Tampa.

“Our judges met contestants who were poised and who demonstrated professionalism in their approach. They enjoyed hearing about the resourcefulness and creativity that was exhibited during their design process,” said Nancy Plummer, Program Chair, Fashion Design at the Academy-Chicago and member of the judging committee.

High school seniors were invited to participate by completing an application and submitting an original concept to a local Academy campus. The first round of judging was conducted by a panel of Academy faculty and employees at each location. The final round was conducted by a panel of Academy faculty, local Chicago designers, along with a special guest judge from Teen Vogue Magazine.

All ten locations had finalists who were chosen and awarded a $5000 scholarship and an entry into the national competition to earn a full-tuition scholarship and of seeing his or her design featured in an advertisement in Teen Vogue Magazine. In addition, the three top-finalists will have the added excitement of receiving a trip to New York to attend Teen Vogue's Fashion University.

Romero's winning piece stood out in its use of color and fabric. Denton told of how he created his own pattern by taking apart a pair of pants he owned—this is something that a professional would also do. He had in mind a finished look and achieved it by various hand-made tricks that might have gone unnoticed if not for his explanation. Jones also prepared a mood board. Each brought something distinctive to the process.

“Anna had a terrific debut,” said Jason Smith, president of the Academy in Las Vegas. “The judges' comments about her from concept to finished product would indicate that she has the passion and energy that will help her succeed as one of our students in our fashion design program.”

International Academy of Design & Technology

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