Meet our cohort of global design contest winners 2020 and 2021!
Sanah Sharma, Jasmine Rutherford, Yuriko Fukuda and Benjamin Koh, the winning designs of the 2020 and 2021 Global Design Contest, organized in partnership with TENCEL™ and CLO Virtual Fashion™, had their work unveiled publicly for the first time. Originating from India, America, Singapore and China all of the stunning designs are being created with TENCEL™ Luxe and TENCEL™ with Benjamin Koh’s work to be unveiled at a later date in the year for a surprise activation. Founded by leading environmentalist Suzy Amis Cameron over a decade ago, the international design contest is open to talented designers over the age of 21. Enabling design talent all over the world to enter the prestigious competition, alongside established designers looking to begin or extend their sustainable journey.
Representing the earth and the relationship it shares with its inhabitants. This zero-waste gown has been made using a special cutting technique called Planar Flux. The outer structure, representing living beings, is embellished with Swarovski crystals in the shape of DNA and envelopes the inner delicate layer representing Earth.
Sanah Sharma is a multi-talented young designer with a special eye for sustainability based in India. Upon graduating from Nottingham Trent University, Sanah was just 22 when her creative cutting technique, Planar Flux, was included into the official syllabus at Iowa State University`s Experimental Pattern Making course. Sharma carved her place in the fashion industry with her unique approach of eliminating waste in fashion rather than managing waste through her techniques and designs. As of today, she is a lecturer at the DOT School of Design, where she is working as an associate professor and coordinator of discipline of fashion and academic, and influences the fashion world with her namesake brand founded in 2019.
From then on, her work portfolio has been built with great experiences at multiple prestigious institutions around the globe such as the McGan’s Ooty School of Design; the Month of Design in Ljubljana; the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the UN SDGs Network. Sanah has been creating, teaching,exhibiting and writing with great success throughout these institutions.Sharma has been published on various platforms underlining her special eye for sustainable design,interdisciplinary design and experimental pattern cutting through creativity.
As the first Indian designer to win the Red Carpet Green Dress Global Design Contest, she is a fantastic example of balancing her academic career with an eye on business, whilst revolutionizing the industry for the better.
“Fashion is among the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet owing to the primarily linear supply chain that has become the global industry’s standard. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles are landfilled or incinerated. Most of these comprise synthetic fibres produced from non-renewable resources like oil, releasing millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the environment. While sustainable materials have existed in the past, we have not seen luxury evening wear textiles developed with high sustainability indices. To make fashion circular, we must revolutionise its primal resource, textile. This is where materials like cellulose-based RCGD X TENCEL™ Luxe can help close the gap.” – Sanah Sharma
JASMINE KELLY RUTHERFORD
Jasmine’s design was inspired by the classic silhouette of a man’s three piece suit. The suit features a coat with hand smocked sleeves, an off the shoulder pleated blouse that is reminiscent of the classic button down, and pleated slacks that evoke a sense of modernity and femininity. The suit was designed to accentuate the natural curves of a body and flatter the wearer.
TENCEL FABRICS USED:
TENCEL™ Luxe x Cashmere
TENCEL™ Luxe Filament
Jasmine Kelly Rutherford is an up-and-coming designer born and raised in New York to two Caribbean parents, one Guyanese, the other Haitian. From a young age, Jasmine took interest in the arts and could always be found drawing, dancing and playing music. As she got older, her love for clothes and fashion grew and would spend hours perusing through the pages of Vogue & Essence magazine, imagining all the things she would one day make and wear. At 18, her mother gifted her a sewing machine (a Singer) to learn how to sew. Jasmine had applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology but unfortunately, she did not get accepted at that time. The disappointment of not getting into her dream school pushed Jasmine to work harder towards the goal of being a designer. As the daughter of an immigrant parent that was not able to complete grade school, it meant a lot to Jasmine to be able to strive for higher education.
Advancing her education was of the utmost importance so she tried applying again. After applying two more times, Jasmine finally got accepted into the Fashion Institute of Technology. Before gaining her bachelor’s at FIT, she attended SUNY Westchester Community College and obtained a degree in Technical Design. Having learned about the technical side of fashion first, Jasmine was able to gain a different perspective on design than her peers. Jasmine thinks about and appreciates the actual construction process of a garment first, rather than only its outward appearance. Her time at FIT really helped shape her views on fashion and the impact it has on society. Being surrounded by so many talented and creative people was not only inspiring but a reminder to keep working hard and to focus on excelling in my craft. Her time there also cemented her thoughts on how the fashion industry needs to update their views and become more open to other cultures, sexualities and body types.
Currently, Jasmine is working on creating and launching her own brand. As a designer, her hope is to create a fantasy through the guise of fashion. She wants to tell a story through her vision and empower women and people of color through her creations and wants to build something that will give back to the city that raised her. Through her mentorship with RCGD Global, Jasmine is currently also a design and development intern for designer Christopher John Rogers, and some of her past roles include stints at Kendall + Kylie, Vigoss and Cinq à Sept.
“Having a textile that is both sustainable and long-wearing is a huge asset. I always try to design with the wearer in mind; I want the client to be comfortable and not feel like they are wearing something confining. While wearing my design, I want them to not only look luxurious but feel it too. Winning the RCGD global design contest is beyond exciting because I believe that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the fashion industry. As I create, I want my designs to not only tell a story but to have a voice and speak on issues that affect us around the world.” – Jasmine Kelly Rutherford
Yuriko’s inspiration comes from confident and sophisticated women, those able to voice their personality, values, and opinions through their clothing without speaking. The design features used and the recycled yarn to sew the entire fabric. It consists of draping, with the top part asymmetrically structured. There is extra volume around the neck to create a dramatic effect, a little bit of Swarovski crystals to add shimmer. The boning is inserted in the seams of the corset, which are attached underneath the dress to create a structure on the waist.
TENCEL FABRICS USED:
Born in Japan and raised in the UK in a boarding house since she was eight years old, Yuriko has always loved fashion and would often dress up in a variety of styles. Throughout her childhood, Yuriko was obsessed with musical theater and dreamt of becoming part of it. She was passionate about ballet and violin and at the age of eight, she had the chance to come to the UK to attend Tring Park School for the Performing Arts where she learnt ballet, tap dance, modern dance, drama and music. At the age of nine, she moved to Cheltenham College Preparatory School and then to Cheltenham College, where she took Textiles (Fashion and Design) as one of her GCSE subjects, attaining Grade A*. Alongside her academic achievements, Yuriko has always loved riding and playing Polo since the age of eleven, winning a few trophies, including the award for ‘The Most Promising Player’, ’Best Player in the Team’ and ‘The Most Improved Player of the Year’. She also used to play netball, for which she was awarded ‘Player of the Match’ a number of times and for ‘Hard-working performance’ as Goal Attack at the age of fifteen. Last but not least, Yuriko also received ‘Most Promising Musician’ award and carried on playing in the school orchestra before quitting to focus on her GCSE exams.
Yuriko’s Art teachers have always believed in her and allowed her to self-explore her creativity by giving her the unique privilege to indulge herself in three creative subjects for her A-levels at Cheltenham College, where she graduated from in 2020: Textiles, Sculptures and Fine Art. She especially enjoyed the process of creating, which made her realize her lifetime dream: to become a fashion designer. She attended the Fashion Design Course at Regent’s University for her BA, and during her first year, she received the Vice-Chancellor’s commendation. From April 2022, she will be enrolled at Waseda University in Japan as a way to broaden her perspectives, and immerse herself in Japanese culture and history. Yuriko feels the best when designing and hopes that the enjoyment she puts in will be transferred through her creations.
“Expressing myself through design feels like meditation. Our minds and art are indeed interconnected, having a bidirectional impact on our mental health. Fashion is a work of art and I believe it has the power to control our mind and body. Sustainable fashion revolves around timeless cuts, durability, natural resources and perceived health benefits, it’s a new way of presenting luxury. Sustainability is an exciting and new way of creating a better future for all. This is where RCGD x TENCEL™ x CLO Virtual Fashion can increase the awareness of sustainability and I feel very honored to be part of this incredible journey.“ – Yuriko Fukuda
Named Project 肇 ( ZHAO ), Benjamin’s suit is based on the idea of bridging fast and slow fashion. Approachable and relatable garments are used as the foundation of the design. The patterns are specifically designed to break the garment apart into a modular system to enable customization. This customization of garments allows consumers to change or replace parts either to expand their wardrobe styles or simply reduce waste.
TENCEL FABRICS USED:
Gabardine Nidom Bio Washer
Benjamin Koh is a Singaporean fashion, textile, and product designer. He embarked on his journey in design when he studied Experience and Product Design in Singapore Polytechnic and was first inspired by his mentors from industrial design background. After serving his National Service, he continued his education in Lasalle College of the Arts Singapore and graduated in 2016 with Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and Textile with First Class Honors, with his major in Textile. During his studies, he had a short internship stint in New York City, working for fashion designers. He then grabbed opportunities to work for another designer in Hong Kong, as well as a garment factory to understand the entire garment supply chain. For his final graduation project, he was determined to create a sustainable garment. He attempted to grow his material, and created natural dyes and inks, before sewing them into modular dresses.
In 2016, Benjamin founded The Material Atelier by 本 (BEN), a multi-disciplinary creative studio focusing on seeking sustainable fashion, with collaboration with local artists, to create sustainable wearable art. It also seeks to inform the public about what goes into the material and the design of their garments, with informative videos. Since its launch, the atelier had created a few products, one of which won a Merit Award in the Singapore Creator Award Competition in 2019.
Benjamin started work with Chargeurs-PCC as a garment technician in Singapore after his graduation and is now based in Hong Kong as a product development director. From Menswear, Activewear to medical-grade masks and Personal Protective Equipment clothing amidst the pandemic, he had the opportunity to acquire understanding and knowledge of a huge variety of products. He is also fortunate to be part of a team to help the company transit towards sustainability.
Benjamin joined Red Carpet Green Design with the hope to share his vision in sustainable fashion.
‘’In 2016, I founded The Material Atelier by 本 (BEN), a multi-disciplinary creative studio focusing on seeking sustainable fashion, with collaboration with local artists, to create sustainable wearable art. It also seeks to inform the public about what goes into the material and the design of their garments, with informative videos. Since its launch, the atelier had created a few products, one of which won a Merit Award in the Singapore Creator Award Competition in 2019.” – Benjamin Koh