Manisha PatelJune 9, 2021 Press Release

News Release

For Immediate Release 


Winners Announcement: 2021 “Fashion for All” Student Design Competition


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, USA; LIVINGSTON, NJ, USA,  June 9, 2021— AATCC and the Runway of Dreams Foundation are delighted to announce 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!


1st Place

Starry Night Super Socks by Emma Steadman from Duke University. She will be awarded a US$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 US$1,000 travel and lodging stipend). Steadman is a mechanical engineering student.

She says, “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. 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.”


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.”


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

Rigler says, “This competition was a huge learning experience for me. 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.”


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

Thompson says, “This competition has reinforced my belief that intentional design is imperative and important! 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.”


About Runway of Dreams Foundation: 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.



About AATCC: AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members throughout the world.


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Media Contact:


Manisha Patel | Corporate & Student Membership Specialist


1 Davis Drive | PO Box 12215 | Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2115 | USA

Office: +1.919.549.549.3523 | Fax: +1.919.549.8933 | Headquarters: +1.919.549.8141

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