Last Hurdle Before Paris: Best in the U.S. Ready
Date: Oct. 11, 2002
to Win, Wearing Their Hearts on Their Sleeves
Story by: Mary Bridget Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Archive: General News
Photo by: Lisa Ventre
sketches provided by UC fashion students
Cincinnati -- Paris comes to Cincinnati as the nation's premium crop of up-and-coming designers mix with an international array of professional designers during the October 31 United States' finals of the prestigious International Competition of Young Fashion Designers.
Held at the University of Cincinnati, it's no "sew-sew" event for the more than 40 young designers competing from 18 schools, with UC being represented by six students.
After all, they'll exhibit their "wears" to be judged by prominent professionals, and one finalist will win a graduate scholarship for study in Paris at the Institut Francais de la Mode (IFM). (The winning student will still have to pass IFM's interview process to be accepted.) And only those judged the best in the runway event will travel to Paris in December to compete against their peers from Europe and Asia. In France, the students' designs will be shown by the best of Paris' models at the Louvre.
"This is the most prestigious undergraduate competition in the U.S. and internationally," explained the competition's organizer Nathalie Doucet, UC assistant professor of fashion design and president of the Arts of Fashion Foundation, sponsor of the U.S. finals. This year's event, themed "Love and Fashion," marks the 20th anniversary of the international competition, which is sponsored by Air France; the French Federation of Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear and Designers; and the city hall of Paris.
"This is good for the students because it increases their level of professionalism. They hone their speed, quality and creative skills. They meet students from other schools and professionals. They get to know their future competition and colleagues," said Margie Voelker-Ferrier, coordinator of UC's fashion design program. "It's also good for the city and country. Europe and New York are coming into Cincinnati. They'll see our passion for fashion."
U.S. schools represented at the event will be:
|University of Cincinnati||Art Institute of Chicago|
|California State Northridge University||Columbia College, Chicago|
|Cornell University, New York||Drexel University, Philadelphia|
|Houston Community College||International Fine Arts College, Florida|
|Iowa State University||Kent State University, Ohio |
|Marist College, New York||Marymount University, Virginia|
|Nassau Community College, New York||Norfolk State University, Virginia|
|Oklahoma State University||Parsons School of Design|
|University of Alabama||University of Delaware|
The Oct. 31 runway run-off is set for 10 a.m.-noon in the auditorium (Room 4400) of UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). Click here for the day's agenda.
Serving as honorary president of the jury of professional judges will be Didier Grumbach, president of the French Federation of Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear, and Designers. He is also author of "Histoiries de la Mode;" former president of Yves Saint Laurent US; and former dean of studies at Paris' Institut Francais de la Mode (IFM).