The 2011 edition of the Denim Runway design contest — a competition launched in 2010 for apparel
design students at Lubbock, Texas-based Texas Tech University with the purpose of educating
contestants on all links of the denim supply chain — is underway. Sponsored by Lubbock-based Plains
Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) and Cotton Council International (CCI) — the Washington-based
export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council, Memphis, Tenn. — in collaboration with the
university’s Apparel Design and Manufacturing Department (ADM) in the College of Human Sciences,
the contest offers students a comprehensive look at the cotton industry.
“It is vitally important for consumers to know and understand where their fiber comes from
and everything involved in the entire supply chain,” said Wally Darneille, president and CEO, PCCA,
which operates the only vertically integrated denim apparel supply chain in the Western Hemisphere.
Students visited a local cotton farm during harvest in October 2010 to learn about cotton
production and environmental stewardship and also visited a cotton gin to see the first steps of
processing cotton and hear presentations about PCCA’s cotton marketing programs. In February 2011,
the students toured American Cotton Growers, PCCA’s denim mill in Littlefield, Texas, to observe
production of the denim fabric they will use in their designs for the contest. Students will return
to the mill April 7-8 to work with PCCA employees to finish their designs.
“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.
In addition to the fashion jeans competition featuring designs for men’s and women’s jeans,
the Casual category offers contestants the opportunity to design and create anything using denim
fabric, and the Cotton Trend Board category allows contestants to research trends for cotton fiber
Denim Runway 2011 contest winners will be announced at Texas Tech’s TECHStyle Fashion Show on
April 30. Winners in the women’s and men’s jeans category will receive an all-expense-paid trip to
Denimatrix LP, PCCA’s cutting and sewing facility in Guatemala, where they will have the
opportunity to participate in the entire process of creating high-fashion jeans; as well as an
all-expense-paid trip by CCI to the Colombiamoda apparel sourcing show in Colombia. The winner in
the Casual category will receive a $500 cash prize and a recognition plaque, and the Cotton Trend
Board winner will receive a $200 cash prize and a recognition plaque.
March 29, 2011