NEW YORK -- With cotton usage continuing to rise, the mood was up at Cotton Incorporated's 14th annual Textile Designer Awards party Wednesday night.

Tiffany crystal statuettes were presented to 10 designers and companies for their achievements -- both esthetic and functional -- in all-cotton textiles for apparel and home fashions. About 175 people turned out for the cocktail party and presentation at the St. Regis Hotel.

Ira Livingston, Cotton Inc,'s vice president of U.S. marketing and party host, noted that cotton's share of the retail apparel and home furnishings market -- excluding carpet -- was 56 percent in 1993, against 55 percent in 1992, making for the 14th consecutive annual increase racked up.

"That's more than just a coincidence," he said. "I see it as a direct relationship between the consumer's choice and the designer's choice.

"We're glad we can honor the textile designers," he continued, "the least recognized group who make the choices available."

Winners in the apparel category were: Dorothy Jonke, merchandise manager/women's wear, and Diane Alberti, product merchandiser, of Burlington Knits, for knits; the denim product development committee of Cone Mills, for wovens; Beverley E. Siri, designer of Beverley E. Siri Inc., for the novelty category; Joan Messmore, executive vice president/design director, VIP Fabrics, division of Cranston Print Works, for prints, and Carole D'Arconte, color merchandiser, and John Brackett, vice president/marketing, Caro-Knit, a division of Dixie Yarns, for technical achievement.

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