TOP DESIGN COMPETITION
The Top Design Competition shines the spotlight on a new generation of emerging designers in a exciting fashion competition with a highly coveted prize package. Ashley Gunkel, the 2013 Top Designer Winner, received retail placement in Hemline Boutique, a consulation package from NOLA Sewn, featured story in Amelie G Magazine, Brother "Project Runway" sewing machine compliments of AllBrands.com, a gift certificate from Promenade Fine Fabrics, a professional photo shoot with Photographer Gustavo Escanelle, a business mentoring/consultation with IDEA Village, and featured designer placement at FWNOLA 2014.
2014 TOP DESIGN COMPETITORS
Dominique White – A native of Hattiesburg, MS, is a senior at Loyola University studying Visual Arts. She has worked as an apprentice for a retired fashion designer, seamstress and tailor which have enhanced her design and craftsmanship skill set. Her aesthetic focus is directed towards creating timeless, yet standout fashions for women.
Jose Luis Rodriguez – Born in Barquisimeto Edo. Lara, Venezuela; Jose moved to New Orleans over ten years ago. He studied Art, Graphic Design, and Interior Design at the Universidad de los Andes. Jose decided to infuse that skill set with his love for fashion design. In 2007, he presented his first accessory collection of hats and leather handbags. His design inspirations are derived from people, places, and the performing arts.
Katharine Faust – Found a home in New Orleans after studying in Savannah, GA, Los Angeles, CA and Aix-en-Provence, France. Katharine has a B.A. in Painting from East Stroudsburg University and an M.A. in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her love of designing began at age 5 when she sewed her first garment, a tank top for her Barbie doll. She combines her knowledge of visual design, graphic elements, and painterly style to her fashions to create wearable looks and reserved statement pieces that evoke a sense of beauty and confidence.
Lauren Ospina – Born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Her first major move away from home was when she got accepted to study Fashion Design at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta, GA. Her design aesthetic can be described as clean, sharp, linear shapes and styles. Lauren appreciates elegant and soft materials, but is a rebel at heart and often will incorporate edgy fabrics such as leather or metallic into her designs.
Nichole Steuart – A native of Houston, TX and a 2010 graduate in Fashion/Apparel Design from Louisiana State University. Because of her love for the environment, she has always been interested in sustainability within the fashion industry, as well as working with discarded apparel and textiles. Nichole’s design aesthetic is ever changing wither environment, which is reflected currently for the climate and terrain of Colorado where she currently resides.
Nikki Manuel – A quintessential southern belle who hails from Birmingham, AL and now resides in Baton Rouge, LA. Her designing journey started at the age of twelve, displaying an appreciation for classic lines and paying close attention to every detail of her creations. Nikki’s goal is to produce fashions that are representative of the Southern region – classic, timeless, with a modern silhouette and luxurious fabrics.
Romey Roe – A native of New Iberia, LA. He studied fashion at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His design aesthetic focuses on custom-made garments to enhance the feminine mystic. His primary source of fabrics are chiffon, metallic mesh, and lace. Romey style leans toward classic color combinations such as black and white with pops of color. His main inspiration is from people of all walks of life as he truly sees the beauty in all things.
Sandhya Garg – Before settling down in Birmingham, AL, Sandhya polished her skills at International design studios training at Alexander McQueen, learning various pattern cutting techniques; to hand embroidery craft, and vintage knitting-lace making at the Gucci factory in Italy. She is a graduate from the London College of Fashion, specializing in women’s wear. Bold color combined with contrasting textures, elements and hand craftsmanship define Sandhya fashion aesthetic.
Shannon Warren – A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama where she studied Apparel and Textile Design at The University of Alabama. Shannon grew up adoring the costumes of her favorite music artist and dreamed of one day designing for them. Her design inspiration is guided by emotions and mood, rather than visual. She imagines how she wants her clients to "feel" and she designs the silhouette accordingly.
Tiffany Langlinais – A transplant to New Orleans by way of the Mississippi coast; Tiffany has always been inspired by her home roots & Southern upbringing. Her aesthetic reflect the culture and character that surrounds her, embracing the ‘new’ New Orleans with a more refined approach to structure. The construction is clean, essentially a nod to the continual revitalization efforts in the city. Each piece is cut with a goal of creating unexpected mix & match separates.