Winners Announcement
2018 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Design Competition

AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 2018 AATCC Concept 2 Consumers® Student Design Competition!

AATCC received 93 entries, with 108 students participating from 23 colleges and universities. This year’s theme, All Day Adventures in Activewear, challenged students to design a line for a specific outdoor or indoor athletic activity (cycling, running, group fitness, hiking, etc.) that must be able to transition to everyday wear. This new line should enhance the athletic enthusiast’s experience while also transitioning to everyday wear. See the full competition guidelines for more details.


The Winners:

1st Place: Tidal Trash by Cecily Ripley, University of Wisconsin Stout, was awarded US$1,000 from AATCC; a Macbook Pro with a one year VStitcher software license and a paid internship from Browzwear; a Pantone Cotton Passport; a US$100 Spoonflower Gift Certificate; a Datacolor Spyder5; and one year of CLO 3D fashion design software.

See Cecily’s entry here

Cecily Ripley is a Junior majoring in Apparel Design and Development. Ripley says,”One thing I learned from this competition is the importance of research and understanding your target market and their needs. Prior to designing, I spent countless hours researching the athletic activity I chose, surfing, and discovered that the number of young, female surfers is growing. I decided to tailor my target market to accommodate this shift in the sport. Next, I researched fashion, specifically swimwear, and cultural trends. As a Sustainable Design Minor and with the growing trend of environmental consciousness, I knew I wanted to incorporate sustainability into my designs. Due to the functional needs of swimwear, I was not able to incorporate the typical sustainable fabrics. Instead I decided to encompass a sustainable message into my designs through the prints and surface design. This competition challenged me think critically about the needs of my target market and incorporate a transitional design feature. By spending the time researching, I was able to pinpoint the functional and aesthetic needs of a surfer and design a line that meets these needs while being transitional from surf to sand.”

Ripley is interested in becoming a successful creative or technical designer in apparel and being on the forefront of establishing sustainable practices in the apparel industry. “As an apparel designer, I feel that I have a great responsibility to create quality products in an ethical way,” she says. “I liked this year’s competition challenge of creating transitional garments because it challenges designers to create quality designs with sustainability and consumer needs in mind. It also encourages consumers to wear the same garment in many different occasions. This competition will help me as a future designer in industry to understand the functional needs of any target market, allowing me to create practical garments that consumers will want and hopefully wear for the garment’s full life, reducing waste.”


2nd Place: Siren Scuba by Sarah West, University of Arkansas, was awarded US$750 from AATCC; a one year VStitcher software license and a paid internship from Browzwear; a Pantone Cotton Passport; a US$100 Spoonflower Gift Certificate; a Datacolor Spyder5; and 6 months of CLO 3D fashion design software.


West is a first year Masters student majoring in Apparel Merchandising and Product Development. West says, “I learned new software, improved my current skills, and developed my ability to integrate several skills into a finished product by participating in this competition. My previous training includes trend forecasting, design, and Adobe Creative Cloud, and I’m stronger now in all of these. I learned how to use CLO3D for this project, which became essential to the aesthetic quality of my submission. The integration of Illustrator sketches, CLO3D pattern drafting, 3D draping, and avatar animation, and organizing these visual elements in InDesign was a unique challenge that brought my skill set to a higher level.”

West intends to work in the apparel industry for a time, then return to school for a doctoral degree to become an educator. “My experience with this competition will be invaluable,” she says. “When I enter the industry, I will stand out because of my experience with 3D apparel design. The challenges I met and the knowledge I gained in this competition, like designing for a theme and practicing diversity and inclusion, prepared me for when I continue my education and begin teaching.”



Honorable Mention: Hiking with Melody by Yiling Lai, Drexel University, was awarded US$100 from AATCC; a one year VStitcher software license from Browzwear; a US$50 Spoonflower Gift Certificate; a Datacolor Spyder5; and 3 months of CLO 3D fashion design software.

Lai is a graduate student getting a Master of Science in Fashion Design. Lai says. “I learned how to balance practicality and creativity while designing garments and surface design. I want to work in the eco-friendly fashion field. Learning how to design garments to not only look good, but also to be used a lot is the first step which helps me to achieve my goal. I also had a chance to do research on environmental protection fabric, and tried to incorporate them into my design. This process was very helpful as well.”




Honorable Mention: Stuff Stashers by Holly Conner, Central Michigan University, was awarded US$100 from AATCC; a one year VStitcher software license from Browzwear; a US$50 Spoonflower Gift Certificate; a Datacolor Spyder5; and 3 months of CLO 3D fashion design software.

Conner graduated this year with a dual major in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising. Conner says, “From this competition, I learned to think creatively about the cohesion of design aesthetic and functionality. I especially learned that specialized functions in apparel are highly valuable and innovative. I will be attending Central Michigan University to attain my Master’s Degree in Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Technology. After that, I plan to enter the design industry, and my end goal is to get my doctorate and return to a university setting as a fashion professor. This competition helped me to exercise my creativity, which will absolutely be applicable to any creative job I acquire.”



AATCC would like to extend appreciation to the following developers, judges, and sponsors. Without their expertise and assistance, the competition would not have been possible.


Mary Brannon, Apparel Technology Coordinator at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising 
Sandra Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International
Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone
Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc.
Muditha Senanayake, Interim Dept. Chair, Associate Professor, Apparel Merchandising and Management at Cal Poly Pomona
Mark Sunderland, Director Academic Operations/Textile Engineer + Strategist at Thomas Jefferson University


Craig Crawford, King of Creative at CrawfordIT
Bunny Donahue, Creative Director at Becket Dress
Sara Englehart, Product and Procurement Manager at Spoonflower Inc.
Meredith Feingold, Social Media and Content Coordinator at Spoonflower Inc.
Jasmin Ghaffarian, Senior Director of Global Product & Urban Exploration at The North Face
Lena Lim, Chief Commercial Officer at Browzwear
Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower, Inc.
Kristie Rhodes, Manager, Product Development at Cotton Incorporated
Ryan Teng, VP of Business Development at CLO Virtual Fashion
Carrie Yates, Manager of Product Development at Cotton Incorporated
Paula Zanger, Creative Director /Product Designer at Orange Howell


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