AATCC reveals winner of ‘Fashion for All’ contest

Posted June 9, 2021


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. and LIVINGSTON, N.J. – AATCC and the Runway of Dreams Foundation announced the winners of the 2021 AATCC and Runway of Dreams Foundation Fashion for All Student Design Competition.


The 2021 theme challenged students to create or transform an accessory (bags, belts, jewelry, shoes, etc.) that reimagines fashion and function for people with disabilities. All accessories MUST be textile based.


First Place


Starry Night Super Socks by Emma Steadman from Duke University. She will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship. The prize will be presented at the Runway of Dreams Fashion Revolution Runway Show and Gala during NYFW 2021 (with up to $1,000 travel and lodging stipend). Steadman is a mechanical engineering student.


“This competition with a requirement to choose an accessory taught me that even the smallest adaptation can be revolutionary to help people with disabilities feel comfortable and confident,” Steadman  said. “This will be important to remember in my career that the most brilliant ideas aren't necessarily always the most extravagant, but rather they are the ones that keep the needs of the consumer in focus.”


Watch submission.


Honorable Mentions


The entries below have received an Honorable Mention. They will receive recognition in AATCC media and a certificate of accomplishment from the Runway of Dreams Foundation.


The Libby Belt by Emma Ryan from the Kendall College of Art and Design, enrolled in Fashion Studies.


From this competition she says she learned that “Fashion should be available for everyone but unfortunately a lot of people have to sacrifice fashion for function. By communicating with the consumer, garments and accessories can be designed to be both.”


Watch submission.


Tastefully Inclusive by Payton Rigler, University of Arkansas, Apparel Merchandising and Product Development.


“This competition was a huge learning experience for me,” Rigler said. “It was the first time I constructed an accessory, as well as an opportunity to create something not intended for personal use. It was insightful to learn about those living with disabilities and hearing how different their day-to-day life looks like and the challenges they often face. Overall, this competition was extremely beneficial and will most definitely impact my future designs in a way that is less self-driven and more aware of meeting specific needs of others.”


Watch submission.


Fashion For All, The Access Pack by Kedena Thompson, North Carolina State University, Textile Technology 


“This competition has reinforced my belief that intentional design is imperative and important!,” Thompson said. “As an apparel and accessories industry professional, I know first-hand that brands do not design for people with disabilities. In future positions I plan to ensure inclusivity and attention to detail regarding ableism occurs during the concept/design stage and is part of the final product selections for market.”


Runway of Dreams Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works toward a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities. Through awareness campaigns, adaptive runway shows, wardrobe grants, scholarship programs and college clubs, the Runway of Dreams Foundation is empowering people with disabilities with opportunity, confidence, independence and style.


Source: AATCC

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