NEW YORK — Crystal balls may give fortune tellers and gypsies a glimpse of tomorrow, but for DuPont, young, budding fashion designers offer the look into legwear’s future.
That’s why the fiber maker hosted its first North American hosiery design contest during the spring legwear market earlier this month.
The event — dubbed "Tomorrow’s Designs Today" — was held at Daylight Studios on West 31st Street in Manhattan, where DuPont showcased the hosiery concepts of 31 semifinalists and four finalists. It was co-hosted by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who plays Meadow on HBO’s "The Sopranos."
"This was an opportunity to get into the minds of the youthful consumer to find out what they want from legwear," said Sheila Robinson, marketing communications manager at DuPont.
Some 400 students entered the contest from schools such as the California Design College, the Fashion Institute of Technology,Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Parsons School of Design and Philadelphia University. Designers from Escada, House of Fields and Yeohlee, and editors from Footwear News, Lucky, Seventeen and Vogue judged the designs.
Bill Amadio, North America legwear manager said: "Because of the innovations in the apparel world such as Lycra and Tactel, current and future hosiery designers have unlimited access to the fibers and fabrics that can make their designs modern, stylish and practical at the same time."
As reported, the legwear division is now part of DuPont Textiles & Interiors. Earlier this year, DuPont unveiled an ambitious plan to strengthen its hosiery and legwear business on a global scale with some new concepts, including this contest for which DuPont Lycra and Tactel provided yarns to manufacturers to produce the finalists’ hosiery designs. Among the brands volunteering to manufacture designs were Givenchy, Hue, Levante, Spanx and Wolford.
Paul Fan, who moved here from China five years ago and recently graduated from the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, took home the winning trophy and a check for $1,000.
"I have a lot of passion for fashion and design," said Fan, who prior to coming to the U.S., worked in China for a company that specializes in embroidery.
His winning design mixes a slew of geometric patterns and was realized by Wolford."My inspiration was from native tattoos of small Pacific Islands," he said. "I spent a whole month researching in the library and bookstores."
Second place went to Kenndra L. Lopez, a student in fashion merchandising and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise in Los Angeles. Her design mimicked blue jeans and was created by Canadian brand Silks.
Lakshmi Golpalkrishnan, a recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise in San Francisco, took home third place with a design inspired by Madhubani paintings of northern India, using red and black parrot and flowering creeper motifs, which symbolize prosperity and good luck. The design was also created by Silks.
"These students have recognized that legwear is fun, fashionable and functional at the same time," said Robinson. "Let’s celebrate legwear as a fashion accessory."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast