Fashion Contest Could Reveal Future Designers

FGI Dallas hosts its 53rd scholarship competition

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Judging is now underway in a fashion contest that gives a hint at designers we may want to keep watch for in the future.

More than 100 college students across Texas are competing in the 53rd Annual Fashion Group International of Dallas scholarship competition.

"That's the lifeblood of our industry. These fresh perspectives and youth that are coming up with things we've never seen before," said Nerissa Von Helpenstill, the regional director of FGI Dallas.

FGI Dallas is part of Fashion Group International, Inc., a global, nonprofit, professional organization. The Dallas group has awarded more than $210,000 in scholarships to date and hosted its first-ever virtual competition last year which awarded over $60,000.

It's virtual again in 2021 but still with plenty of excitement.

"We were already talking about how difficult the judging will be," said Marilyn Stewart, the co-chair of the scholarship competition.

More than 100 students from across Texas designed and made garments that are now under the critical eyes of judges.

"This year we're offering a category of long gown, evening and bridal and this seems to be a favorite of students. They love entering that competition including contest dresses. The other category is sportswear. We combined women and men this year. And then the third category is sustainability which is very important today," Stewart said. "The criteria for entering sustainability would be using natural fibers, or repurposing a garment, ripping something apart, making something new out of it."

"The level of talent we're seeing from these students is amazing. It blows my mind it's so inspiring to see what they can do and what they come up with, the fresh ideas," Von Helpenstill said.

Students can win scholarships valued up to $5,000 each, an apprenticeship and two sewing machines are among the prizes as well.

Winners will be announced at a virtual event on April 21. The public is invited to watch for free. Information is here.

The event will kick off with a keynote speech from Dr. Maryann Cairns, Assistant, professor at Southern Methodist University in The Dedman College of Anthropology, who is spearheading new sustainability initiatives in the fashion industry.

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