Winners Announcement 2020 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Design Competition

Winners Announcement 2020 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Design Competition

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, USA, May 22, 2020—AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 20120 AATCC Concept 2 Consumers® Student Design Competition!

AATCC received 29 entries, with 43 students participating from 16 colleges and universities. This year’s “Everlasting Style”-themed competition challenged students to design an apparel line (3-5 designs) for office/work attire that was timeless in terms of sustainability, quality, and style. Again this year, students were asked to access educational resources, so they could highlight at least one AATCC test method and why it was important to their product line. See the full guidelines for the contest online.

The Winners:

1st Place: Nouvelle Femme by Lauren Bouvier, University of Arkansas

This student was awarded:

Lauren Bouvier is a senior majoring in apparel merchandising & product development from the University of Arkansas. Bouvier says, “This competition was an opportunity to apply what I have learned in the classroom to a real-world scenario. It challenged me to create clothing designs that serve and empower young professional women in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the future I hope to work in fashion merchandising then pursue higher education and teach at the university level. I have had so many inspiring teachers and I hope to empower the next generation in the same way. This competition has shown me the importance of identifying an area of need when developing something new then finding a solution for that need. I hope to continue to solve problems and serve people in my future work.”



2nd Place: WEco by Izzy Volpe, Drexel University

This student was awarded:


Izzy Volpe is a sophomore in fashion design at Drexel University, who plans to graduate in 2022.

Volpe says, “From this competition, I learned that there are many complex steps apparel designers must take in order to make their garments functional for realistic purposes. There is a lot of trial and error, and much testing goes into every piece of clothing that we wear. This was able to make me realize that I should design with ‘life’ in mind as time moves forward….if my pieces are to have a greater longevity, I must pay attention to the scientific side to the artistic process.”

Volpe hopes to design for a creative brand that focuses on making highly captivating garments while maintaining ecologically friendly philosophies. “Success for me will mean that I am able to freely design imaginative pieces that are functional and comfortable for people who want to express themselves through art, freely. This competition was able to widen my knowledge on how timeless designs are achieved, as well as how green design is possible in the testing phase of creation.”

Honorable Mentions:

Belle Fleur by Annabelle McLeod, Auburn University






Urban Nest by senior group:

Francesca Burks, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona







Michelle Cruz, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Xiaoyi (Nicole) Liu, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona











Jessica DeGard, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona









These students were awarded (group winners split the prize package):

Belle Fleur by Annabelle McLeod, Auburn University

Annabelle McLeod is a junior majoring in apparel design and production management at Auburn University. Mcleod says, “This competition challenged me to think about the importance of sustainability in fashion. I learned that one of the most important aspects to sustainable fashion is the longevity of the garment, which means appropriate design, test methods, and textiles must be selected in order to create something that will stand the test of time.”

McLeod hopes her future career will be designing for a high-end fashion brand in a big city, such as New York. McLeod states, “One of the biggest things I learned from this competition is perseverance. I doubted myself many times throughout the process of creating this line and spent a lot of time going back to the drawing board. Halfway through starting this project, a global pandemic took over the world and my normal school and work environment was flipped upside down. This competition provided a means of distraction and focus during a time of unknown, which I am extremely thankful for. Overall this competition taught me a lot about myself as a designer and allowed me to focus on my technique, as well as giving me a better understanding of the science that goes into creating a garment. I hope to take these lessons learned into my future career and strive to continue improving and expanding my design knowledge for years to come.”


Urban Nest by senior group Francesca Burks, Michelle Cruz, Xiaoyi (Nicole) Liu, and Jessica DeGard; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Francesca Burks is a senior, majoring in apparel merchandising and management, with a textiles emphasis at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Burks says, “I learned how to effectively lead and manage a group project by ensuring we all met weekly deadlines and split up the work according to our strengths. I also learned more about AATCC test methods and how to select which test methods are important depending on the garment and its intended end use.”

Burks is planning her future career to be in textile research and development, testing, or material development geared towards sportswear. “The effective teamwork strategies and the knowledge I obtained about AATCC test methods from this competition will help me in my desired career area. Being able to work well in teams is always important in any career and developing a deeper understanding of product development and test methods will prepare me to work in research and development, testing, or material development.”

Xiaoyi (Nicole) Liu is a senior majoring in apparel merchandising management, with a retailing option at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Liu reflects, “This is the first time I did a project virtually, and this is a new comprehensive skill set for future in school and work.”

“I am about to graduate and am planning to work in fashion retail-related industry such as fashion buyer. I have learned about researching fashion trends and have a deeper understanding of the ongoing fashion world.  Even though we are all isolated at home because of the epidemic, we are also making fashion style adjustment to this new world. We designed a coat with mask to give extra protection to the wearer. The idea is to combine functional elements under current epidemic situation while we are still able to maintain the aesthetic aspect of fashion design. I think the most important thing that I learned from this competition is that fashion is always constantly changing around the world whether it is a new situation like this or environmental changes that lead us to choose different materials and design.”

Jessica DeGard is a senior majoring in apparel merchandising and management, with a retailing emphasis. DeGard shares, “This competition taught me the importance of attention to detail and how to work closely in a group effort. I aspire to become a merchandiser for Patagonia. This competition applies to my future career goals, because it required teamwork and research about cost, fabrication, and market trends.”

Michelle Cruz is also a senior majoring in apparel merchandising and management at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.


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.



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.

Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower Inc.

Muditha Senanayake, Interim Dept. Chair, Associate Professor, Apparel Merchandising and Management at Cal Poly Pomona




Lisa Beck, Product Manager at Datacolor

Emily Coleman, Designer and Merchandise Manager at Jefferies Socks

Hunter Ellis, President at Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Systems

Anna Hall, E-commerce Specialist at Jefferies Socks

Ken Hamby, General Manager at Jefferies Socks

Yvonne Johnson, Director: Product Development at Cotton Incorporated

Lauren Koury, E-commerce Specialist at Carolina Hosiery Mills

Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower Inc.

Kristie Rhodes, Manager, Product Development at Cotton Incorporated

Mike Scrutton, Director, Print Technology and Strategy at Adobe

Brennan West, Design Associate / Wrangler Modern Men’s Global at Kontoor Brands, Inc.

Seth Winner, Technical Manager for Wovens at Cotton Incorporated

Carrie Yates, Manager of Product Development at Cotton Incorporated



Sponsors: Datacolor, Spoonflower, Adobe, Jacquard, and Pantone.


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 in about 50 countries throughout the world.


# # #

Contact Information

Company: AATCC