This past fall, with the help of Cotton Incorporated, our students were challenged to put that knowledge into practice.
We asked students to choose one of their favorite designers/brands, with the goal of creating a capsule collection of six suitable fabrics that would use cotton in an innovative way and raise awareness of cotton fiber in their target market category.
First, the students researched fabric trends on the runway and in forecasts for spring/summer 2021 and analyzed their brand’s current assortment of looks and fabrications. They then familiarized themselves with trends and innovations in cotton, using the Cottonworks site, and considered ways to apply their research in merchandising their own “Cotton Capsule” collection.
Students were encouraged to interpret fabrics typically made with synthetic fibers using cotton or a cotton blend, keeping in mind how the collection would showcase newness and innovation. The Cotton CLIMATE Lab at LIM was a wonderful resource for exposing the students to cotton fabrications.
Students were also encouraged to relate their concepts to larger social trends the fashion industry is responding to. These included sustainability, comfort, performance, functionality, as well as the need for escape, which can manifest in nostalgia, fantasy, and a return to nature (as seen in the Cottage Core trend and the “Countryside, The Future” exhibit by Rem Koolhaus at the Guggenheim).
Finally, the students were asked to suggest an appropriate marketing strategy to promote the collection, including developing a name, campaign tag line, and possible cotton hang tag.
At the conclusion of the project, four students -- Mateo Mislov, Leah Russell, Ingrid Grove and Romy Jankelowitz -- were each awarded $375 scholarships for best utilizing cotton’s attributes and potential in the presentations for their capsule collections.