Students Create Fashion-Forward Denim With U.S. Cotton

The Farmer Stockman - Texas Tech University student designers in Lubbock used U.S. cotton-rich denim to produce fashionable apparel for the second annual 'Denim Runway' design contest.

Texas Tech University student designers in Lubbock used U.S. cotton-rich denim to produce fashionable apparel for the second annual "Denim Runway" design contest.

The event was co-sponsored by Cotton Council International and Plains Cotton Cooperative Association in collaboration with the university's College of Human Sciences Department of Design's Apparel Design and Manufacturing program. Four students won prizes for their cotton creations, and judges announced the winners following the TECHstyle Senior Fashion Show in Lubbock this spring.

"Denim is a perennial consumer favorite, and U.S. cotton fiber is an important component of denim fabric," says CCI President John D. Mitchell. "This design contest was an ideal opportunity to highlight the fashionable side of denim, as well as to give young designers first-hand experience in working with U.S. cotton denim fabric."

CCI's Cotton USA Program will sponsor two winning men's and women's jeans designs—Lauren Hogan, a senior ADM major from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Lauren McGraw, a senior ADM from Ellis, Texas—on a trip to the Colombiamoda trade show in Medellin, Colombia, to serve as ombudsmen for the U.S. cotton industry. Hogan and McGraw also will travel to PCCA's Denimatrix apparel facility in Guatemala under sponsorship from PCCA.

The Cotton USA stand at Colombiamoda promotes U.S. cotton yarns and fabrics from Sourcing Program mills. At the show, the winning student designers will learn more about the U.S. textile industry and apparel makers throughout the Western Hemisphere.

"Denim Runway" also gave participating students a look at the rest of the denim apparel supply chain, as they toured a local cotton farm during harvest, a cotton gin, and PCCA's American Cotton Growers denim mill. They also observed U.S. cotton farmers' good environmental stewardship during their farm visit.

Besides men's and women's jeans, this year's Denim Runway featured a Casual category, in which designers could create anything made with denim fabric, and a Cotton Trend Board category, in which the students predicted cotton fiber and apparel trends. Megan Curry, a senior ADM major from Dallas, won the Casual category, and Erica Medrano, a senior ADM major from Houston, won the Cotton Trend Board category.

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