Recent KSU fashion graduate wins Supima Design Competition

Felicia Ssempala

Recent Kent State Fashion School graduate Anastasia Iafrate was named the winner of this year’s Supima Design Competition on Sept. 4 during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York.

Iafrate beat out five other finalists and walked away with a cash prize of $10,000. The Supima Design Competition was created to give students from the top fashion schools in America a chance to get real exposure to the industry.

According to the Supima website, this competition is, “modeled after the legendary 1954 Wool Secretariat competition that launched the careers of the then-teenaged Yves St. Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.”

Six of the top fashion schools choose one graduating senior to represent them in the competition. The schools included Academy of Art University, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Fashion Institute of Technology, Kent State University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Savannah College of Art and Design. Iafrate was chosen over other seniors to represent Kent State University.

“It was based on my senior collection and my work throughout the years in the fashion school,” said Iafrate.

Throughout the whole competition she had Vincent Quevedo, associate fashion design professor for the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, by her side as a faculty advisor.

“My job was to make sure her designs were cohesive, doable by the deadline and that she utilized the Supima fabric the best she can,” said Quevedo.

The beauty of her hometown of St. Petersburg, Russia, inspired the winning collection, “White Nights of St. Petersburg.”

“In St. Petersburg they have this phenomenon called, ‘White Nights’ that happens every year in July and August,” said Iafrate. “At midnight, the town is lit up so bright that you could mistake it for daytime.”

Iafrate said that the professors in the fashion school really helped build her aesthetic and grow into the designer she is today.

“I loved the collaboration of classes I took and I felt like everyone contributed to my growth,” said Iafrate.

Since her win, Iafrate plans to move to New York from Cleveland and find a job that will further her career as a fashion designer.

Learn more at the Supima website:

Contact Felicia Ssempala at [email protected].