The Supima Design Competition

by Pantone

New York Fashion Week officially kicked off Thursday and Pantone was on hand last night at Lincoln Center for the 5th annual Supima Design Competition Runway Show.

The Supima Design Competition was created in 2008 to give runway exposure to emerging talent. It is modeled after the legendary 1954 Wool Secretariat competition that launched the careers of the then-teenaged Yves St. Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.

For this competition, four of America’s top design schools (FIT, Pratt, RISD and SCAD) each are asked to select two finalists from among their graduating seniors. Each finalist creates a capsule collection of women’s eveningwear gowns from premium Supima denims, knits, corduroys, twills, and shirting.

The crowd in attendance, too, was styling…

…including noted designer Tadashi Shoji, a contributor to our just-published PANTONE Fashion Color Report for the coming season.

Tadashi Shoji

This year the winning collection was created by Kate Willcoff, a senior at the Pratt Institute. But to our eyes, all the designs felt fresh, polished and very pro. Seems the pool of emerging talent is very deep indeed.