NEW YORK — The best designs in cotton were honored at last week’s 2003 Cotton Incorporated Textile Designer Awards, held at the American Folk Museum. The event, which recognizes the industry’s ability to respond to market demands by delivering new and innovative products, honored five winners in the apparel market and five for home fashions. The winners in apparel were: Lena Borkum of Ge-Ray Fabrics for knits; Yaakov Shteiyer of JB Martin for novelty; Phillip De Leon, Nicole De Leon and Miho Tsukimura of Alexander Henry Fabrics Inc. for prints; Tony Strickland of Avondale Mills Inc. for wovens, and Anna Gapanovich of Dan River Inc. for technical achievement.

“Consumers today have so much choice in the market,” said Ira Livingston, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Cotton Inc. “These winners offer consumers products with value, performance and differentiation.”

Phillip De Leon, a designer at Alexander Henry — which took home an award for its whimsical, colorful prints — said he and his team were really surprised by the win. “It was so great to have three of our designs chosen, where all three of the artists could be recognized,” he said.

His sister, designer Nicole De Leon, cited cotton’s versatility and ability to take color: “Cotton is really like a moveable, wearable paper for us to illustrate on.”

Also honored with a special Global Recognition Award was Dong-il Corp., one of South Korea’s leading spinning and weaving companies. The company’s new Cleansil collection consists of a collection of 100 cotton knitted and woven fabrics of fine count yarns spun on the company’s compact spinning system.

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