Texas Tech Students to Compete in Expanded Denim Design Competition

LUBBOCK, TEXAS – (March 24, 2011) – Apparel design students at Texas Tech University are getting a "field to fashion" look at the cotton industry as they compete in the Denim Runway 2011 design contest.  The contest is sponsored by Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) and Cotton Council International (CCI) in collaboration with the university's Apparel Design and Manufacturing Department (ADM) in the College of Human Sciences.

The main goal and idea for Denim Runway 2011, is to help contestants understand all of the links in the denim apparel supply chain.

"It is vitally important for consumers to know and understand where their fiber comes from and everything involved in the entire supply chain," said PCCA President and CEO Wally Darneille.

In October 2010, students visited a local cotton farm during harvest to learn about cotton production and realize the good environmental stewardship practiced by farmers.  They also visited a cotton gin to see the first steps in processing the fiber and heard presentations about PCCA's cotton marketing programs.  In February 2011, they were given a full tour of PCCA's denim mill, American Cotton Growers, to observe every step in the production of denim fabric they will use in their designs for Denim Runway 2011.

"This year, we worked with the ADM faculty to add two new categories so more students can be involved and to give these student-designers an opportunity to see every phase of cotton production from cotton fields to denim manufacturing," Darneille said.

The design contest will still consist of the fashion jeans competition featuring designs for men's and women's jeans, and two new categories. In the Casual category, contestants have the opportunity to design and create anything out of denim fabric.  The other new category is a Cotton Trend Board competition where students will research trends for cotton fiber and apparel.

"This is a unique collaborative endeavor bringing together academia and industry, a joint venture between Plains Cotton Cooperative Association and the Department of Design in the College of Human Sciences," said Cherif Amor, Ph.D., Texas Tech's Chairman of the Department of Design. "This platform paves the way for the students to bridge the gap between theoretical and applied sciences while competing for distinguished awards."

The top designers of the women's and men's jeans category will receive an all-expense-paid trip to PCCA's cutting and sewing facility, Denimatrix in Guatemala City, where they will learn about and participate in every process in the creation of high fashion jeans.  In addition, Denim Runway's co-sponsor, CCI, will award these winners with an all-expense-paid trip to the Colombiamoda apparel sourcing show.  The top designer in the Casual category will be awarded a $500 cash prize and recognition plaque, and the winner of the Cotton Trend Board competition will be awarded a $200 cash prize and a recognition plaque.

PCCA, with headquarters in Lubbock, Texas, is a farmer-owned, cotton marketing cooperative with the only fully vertically integrated supply chain for denim apparel in the Western Hemisphere.  The supply chain includes the American Cotton Growers denim mill at Littlefield, Texas, and the Denimatrix jeans facility in Guatemala City, Guatemala, both of which are renowned for innovative, high-fashion denim fabrics and jeans.

CCI is the export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council.  Its COTTON USA program highlights and promotes U.S. cotton as well as U.S. cotton yarns and fabrics from COTTON USA Sourcing Program member mills.