Meet the Eight Finalists for the 15th Annual Supima Design Competition

Meet the Eight Finalists for the 15th Annual Supima Design Competition

by Josh Svetz

This article is a sponsored collaboration between Supima and PAPER

The top talent from prestigious design universities are set to showcase their ability to make glowing evening wear capsule collections with Supima cotton fabrics at the 15th annual Supima Design Competition during New York Fashion Week on September 10, 2022. The competition has helped produce some of the top names in fashion and will continue to add to its distinguished alumni when the best young designers gather from all over the country to compete for the $10,000 financial prize and the prestige that comes with being crowned Supima Design Collection winner.

The proceedings will be hosted by award-winning CDFA designer Christian Siriano and supermodel and entrepreneur Coco Rocha at The Gallery at Spring Studios in the heart of Tribeca. Judges this year range from Harper’s Bazaar Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor Avril Graham to the creator of New York Fashion Week Fern Mallis, along with former 2016 Supima Design Collection winner Jeffrey Taylor and PAPER's own editor at large Mickey Boardman. The finalists this year include top talent from New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Ohio and Rhode Island.

Candice Tianyu (Academy of Art University)

Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Tianyu decided to study fashion in the United States because she felt a bigger and more international place would give her ideas more life. Her Supima collection capsule draws inspiration from American artist Annabeth Rosen, and focuses on imperfect and unconventional evening wear that aims to challenge the expectation of conventional evening wear. She is a former professional ping pong athlete and looks up to famous designers Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo.

Chan Kyoo Hwang (Drexel University)

Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, Hwang became interested in fashion at a young age by looking at clothes and trying to find the mood that would fit particular people. For his Supima collection capsule, Hwang drew inspiration from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the past, present, and future of the effects of the pandemic dictate the mood in his evening wear. He hopes to one day become a creative director of a fashion brand and says to work he needs his KAI brand scissors, a large, black ice coffee, his hydroflask, a sewing bag and sewing machine and his AirPod Pros to block out the noise and conversation around him.

Fabian Renteria (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising)

Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, Renteria learned early on its best to let the fabric of your garments speak to you, rather than trying to get it to do something it's not meant to do. His bright, eye-popping futuristic fashion designs caught the attention of Supima, specializing in making garments that feel thousands of years in the future from a fantasy world. One day, he hopes to design for Lady Gaga and admires the movie Tron, which he cites as a major influence on his work.

Bryan Barrientos (Fashion Institute of Technology)

Raised not far from the fashion capital of the United States, Barrientos grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, giving him access to New York City at a young age. His Supima capsule collection is inspired by the silhouettes of traditional wear of people from the Peruvian Highlands, focusing on fabric manipulations to come up with new shapes and volumes. He enjoys listening to classical piano and R&B when he works and believes jewelry is the most important accessory to any look.

Antonia Bruno (Kent State University)

As a child growing up in Hudson, Ohio, Bruno wanted to originally get into costume design before deciding fashion design was a more viable pathway to tell stories through her designs and accomplish her dreams. For her Supima capsule collection, Bruno was inspired by finding enjoyment in different environments and nature, creating a look that mimics the many color patterns of the wooded outside. She looks up to Alexander McQueen, preferably his earlier work and cites Colette Wolff’s “The Art Of Manipulating Fabric” as a pivotal book that helped teach her new techniques and provided inspiration to her designs.

Taku Yhim (Parsons School of Design, The New School)

Born in South Korea but currently residing in New York, Yhim became interested in fashion due to a desire to make clothes that have never been made before. His Supima capsule collection focuses on one color, black, inspired by traditional Japanese Samurai Armor. Through his designs, Yhim aims to express incorporeality and focus on silhouette and construction with his black-only color palette. He lives up to his designs, saying his favorite style items are either in black or white, and doesn’t prefer wearing colors.

Hu Jun Yi (Rhode Island School of Design)

Coming all the way from Singapore, Jun Yi decided to take the plunge and go to school in Rhode Island to be exposed to a multi and interdisciplinary curriculum and learn from the top field leaders in fashion education. As a kid, the confidence and glamor of the fashion industry made her feel empowered, leading to an interest in designing clothes of her own. For her Supima capsule collection, Jun Yi will feature the theme of consciousness using elegant, streamline silhouettes to exude a calming and confident energy, focusing on the feelings and monochromatic colors brought out by meditation. She hopes to work with a fashion brand that promotes eco-friendly alternatives to mainstream synthetic fabrics and would choose to spend an entire day shopping with KPOP group Mammoo.

Michelle Sumin Suh (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Raised in Seoul, South Korea, Sumin Suh says her foray into fashion was fate. Originally interested in printmaking, all the classes were full, leading her to use her credits on an intro to fashion course. From there, she found a passion for fashion and used that notion as a basis for her work and Supima capsule collection. Her collection aims to take risks and focus on metamorphosis, featuring designs that range from mimicking a clear blue sky, to transformations in Greek mythology such as Echo, Psyche, Circe and Daphne. To do her best work, she needs coffee and chocolates in the studio and has been obsessed with the show Halston on Netflix lately.

The competition is available to stream on Supima’s Instagram Page for those that cannot attend.

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