Kent State Fashion School Presents $12,000 in Design Awards at Annual Show

The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising (the Fashion School) at Kent State University held its Annual Fashion Show on April 24 and 25 at the school’s Rockwell Hall location. The 2015 show, dubbed “FS2: Visionnaire,” featured 17 collections and 55 individual looks created by 58 student designers. That sizable body of work spanned eveningwear, casualwear and sportswear, with a special category for sustainable production. There were also menswear, childrenswear and juniors collections.

Models traced a serpentine path through Rockwell’s vividly redecorated second floor, from the thrust stage of the auditorium to the east and west atrium wings. The models (and garments) passed within a few feet of most spectators, while video screens in each seating area offered a variety of angles and perspectives.

Best in Show award winner Jenna Furpahs with Fashion School Director J.R. Campbell and designer critics James Coviello, Tara St James and Lauren GroverThe Fashion School also presented $12,000 in design awards to students at the conclusion of the evening show on Saturday, April 25. Notable award winners included senior Jenna Furpahs, whose collection “Brazen” earned both the $1,500 Best in Show Award and the $500 SUEDEsays Award (sponsored by Project Runway star Suede, a Fashion School alumnus).

The collection “Nomadic Gypsy,” meanwhile, earned designer Paige Meacham a different kind of award: a nomination to represent Kent State in the Supima Design Competition in New York this fall. The 2014 Kent State nominee, Anastasia Iafrate, was the winner of last year’s competition, receiving a $10,000 prize.

Camille Winslow and Anastasia White were the two winners of the Most Market Ready Award, sponsored by JCPenney. In addition to receiving $500 each, two of their looks will be produced and sold at the Fashion School Store in downtown Kent.

The Fashion School Store was open late both Friday and Saturday nights, allowing “Visionnaire” patrons to explore the store’s new premises at 201 E. Erie St., Suite B, opposite the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center. The relocated Fashion School Store launched with a gala celebration on April 22 and continues to sell exclusive merchandise designed by students and faculty members of the Fashion School.

“Visionnaire” was sponsored by associate presenting partners Dillard’s and Macy’s, with additional support from a range of industry and regional partners. The school forwent the traditional induction of a fashion luminary into the Fashion School Hall of Fame. Instead, they paid tribute to 2007 inductee Oscar de la Renta, who died last year, and dedicated the show to him. The 2014 inductee was Tom Cole, a Kent State alumnus and former chief administrative officer of Macy’s.

2015 Annual Fashion Show Award Recipients

  • Flat Pattern Award (Andrea Senich, sponsor) — Claire Eberts
  • Draping Award (Carol Cartwright, sponsor) — Shiyao Peng
  • Knitwear Design Award (Phillips family, sponsor) — Kara Kroeger
  • Sustainable Practices Award (Tom Gober, sponsor) — Sam Serafino and Paige Wickersham
  • Couture/Conceptual Award (Robert Geertman and Jay Lewis, sponsors) — Sheem Kendall
  • Eveningwear Award (David and Janet Dix, sponsors) — Kate Hatker
  • Sportswear/Casual Award (Weissman Designs for Dance, sponsor) — Greg Hanwell
  • TechStyleLAB Award (The Grey Colt, sponsor) — Calvin Brant
  • Most Market Ready Award (JCPenney, sponsor) — Anastasia White and Camille Winslow
  • SUEDEsays Award (Suede, sponsor) — Jenna Furpahs
  • Supima Design Competition Nominee — Paige Meacham
  • Best in Show Award (Karen and Ken Conley, sponsors) — Jenna Furpahs

View More Fashion Show Photos


Image: Best in Show award winner Jenna Furpahs with Fashion School Director J.R. Campbell and designer critics James Coviello, Tara St James and Lauren Grover

Contact: Alex Parrott, marketing assistant,, 330-672-2714 (office).

POSTED: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 3:11pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 3:34pm
Alex Parrott