Design Students Strut the Denim Runway

Apparel design students learn how cotton goes from the field to fashion in the form of denim.

Denim Runway was created to help students understand all the links in the denim apparel supply chain.

Denim Runway was created to help students understand all the links in the denim apparel supply chain.

Texas Tech apparel design students received a detailed look of the cotton industry as they competed in the Denim Runway 2011 design contest.

Four student designers were named winners of the competition at Saturday evening’s TechStyle event.

  • Cotton Trend Board: Erica Medrano, a senior from Houston
  • Casual Category: Megan Curry, a senior from Dallas
  • Women’s Jeans: Lauren McGraw, a senior from Ellis
  • Men’s Jeans: Lauren Hogan, a senior from Corpus Christi

“Students work hard throughout the year to present their best work and ideas to the community at TechStyle,” said Linda Hoover, dean of the College of Human Sciences. “Year after year this event has enabled the college to spotlight the talent and creativity that we have right here in Lubbock.”

The Supply Chain

Denim Runway was created to help students understand all the links in the denim apparel supply chain.

“It is vitally important for consumers to know and understand where the fiber comes from and everything involved,” said Wally Darneille, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) president and CEO.

Two New Categories in 2011 Contest

The 2011 design contest consisted of the fashion jeans competition, featuring designs for men’s and women’s jeans, plus two new categories. In the casual category, contestants had the opportunity to design and create anything out of denim fabric. The other new category is a Cotton Trend Board competition where students will research trends for cotton fiber and apparel.

“This is a unique collaborative endeavor bringing together academia and industry, a joint venture between PCCA and ADM,” Cherif Amor, Texas Tech’s Department of Design chairman said. “This platform paves the way for the students to bridge the gap between theoretical and applied sciences, while competing for distinguished awards.”

Students they washed their designs and put on some of the finishing touches, like applying rivets and distressing the denim for a sense of style.

Students washed their designs and put on some of the finishing touches, like applying rivets and distressing the denim for a sense of style.

Field to Fashion

The students’ journey began in October, when they visited a local cotton farm during harvest time and learned about cotton production and realized the good environmental stewardship practiced by farmers. From there, the students went to a cotton gin to see the first steps in processing the fiber.

In February, they toured PCCA’s denim mill, American Cotton Growers. There, they observed every step in the production of the denim fabric that were used in their designs for Denim Runway 2011.

With designs well underway, the students returned to the denim mill in April, where they washed their designs and put on some of the finishing touches, like applying rivets and distressing the denim for a sense of style.

“I wanted to make an everyday jean for a guy. It’s a dress jean, with a little fading up the thigh, because it flatters most people,” said Leone Islam, a senior from Dallas. “My women’s jeans are bell bottoms, since those are coming back right now. And for casual wear, I am making a denim dress for my little sister.”

Joanna Boucher, also of Dallas said, “I found inspiration in my mom’s catalog from the 1970s, about the time the movie Urban Cowboy came out. So I decided to go with a polished cowboy look, with a chap feel to them. We’re in West Texas, so some cowboy may want to wear these somewhere nice.”

For the Winners

The top designers of the women’s and men’s jeans category will receive an all-expense-paid trip to PCCA’s cutting and sewing facility, Denimatrix, in Guatemala City, where they will learn about and participate in every process in the creation of high fashion jeans. In addition, CCI will award these winners with an all-expense-paid trip to the Colombiamoda apparel sourcing show.

The top designer in the Casual category will be awarded a $500 cash prize and recognition plaque.

The winner of the Cotton Trend Board competition will be awarded a $200 cash prize and recognition plaque.

The contest is sponsored by Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) and Cotton Council International (CCI) in collaboration with the university’s Apparel Design and Manufacturing (ADM) Department in the College of Human Sciences.

“We are excited to partner on this project,” said Cherif Amor, Texas Tech’s Department of Design chairman. “We have such talented students in our department, and this competition gives them opportunities beyond their wildest dreams.”


Apparel Design & Manufacturing Program

Apparel Design

The Apparel Design & Manufacturing Program in the Department of Design at Texas Tech University provides the key to entering the glamorous world of fashion. Students learn to create and produce their own designs, research, and apply the latest trends, manage product development, apparel design, or design and construct costumes or stage. A variety opportunities and jobs are possible with a degree in Apparel Design and Manufacturing.

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