Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SACHIKA advances to the FINALS of the SUPIMA Design Competition by Bloomingdale's!!!

For more details and updates on Supima Cotton and the contest, check out their blog:

A friend of ours, also a very talented photographer, James H.Bluck, had told us about this competition. He recommended we tried out for it. On Wednesday October 21st, an open casting call was held at Bloomingdale's for all Designers. The goal of the contest is to create a platform for emerging designers to grow as well as to promote the quality and versatility of that natural fiber called SUPIMA. Pima cotton is a generic name for extra-long staple (ELS) cotton grown mostly in the United States, Australia, and Peru.SU-PIMA cotton stands for SUPERIOR PIMA. It is a trademark name that guarantees that the product is made of 100% American Pima cotton. Supima cotton is a stronger and softer quality of cotton. Cotton is often used for more casual-ready-to-wear fashions and who says Supima cotton cannot be used for evening gown or couture? As a Designer, the challenge is to break the barrier of what's has been done before and to work with a different fiber by creating a beautiful high-fashion garment out of cotton. Especially in this economy, I'd say designers should be more price sensitive and try to make beautiful garment that are cost efficient. This goes along the line of the mentality of our brand: SACHIKA which mainly focuses on creating dresses that are fashionable and sophisticated yet by using more comfortable fabrics such as rayon, viscose and silk jerseys. Supima can actually be a great substitute for the above fabrics. Why not? We are up for the challenge!

Supima held their open call casting at Bloomingdale's 59th Street flagship for its next Competition for Emerging Designers.

Designers chosen for the Competition will then be given top quality Supima fabric to execute their designs, and a chance to show them to the press, buyers, and a panel of celebrity judges during a live runway show in January.

The winning design will not only have his or her garment promoted by Supima.
It'll also be featured in Bloomingdale's!

Here is a link to their previous show at the Gotham Hall in NYC:


At the open call, we had created 3 sketches that we submitted along with our portfolio, resume and dresses that we've sewn to the jugding panel. Number 13 we were. Now that is OUR LUCKY number...lol... we love number 13, cause we were born on December 13th. The wait was long and although we were among the first ones, we ended up waiting for nearly 2 hours to be seen. The interview was filmed. We got a pretty good vibe and positive feedback from the judges. We were confident about the designs we submitted.

The next day, we got a happy call back from Supima annoucing that made it to the next round! 12 designers haven been chosen to advance to the next round where we will be interviewed and showing our designs to a panel of celebrity judges. Exciting!

3 days later:
Wow! This time, the stakes are higher, we have to draw 4 different sketches: 3 evening dresses (knit, woven and denim) and our version of the ultimate t-shirt....and they are choosing 6 to go to THE FINALS!...NICE!!!

A few hours before the big day, Tuesday October 27th, we were still drawing the sketches and figuring out the colors,trimmings, etc. We arrived at the IMG building a few minutes after 10am, ready for round 2!

IMG created "NEW YORK FASHION WEEK". Here are posters of past fashion weeks in the conference room of IMG.

In the conference room, where the 11 other finalists sat, we could feel a healthy competitive vibe and a lot of curiosity from the other Designers. Some of them cracked jokes to relax the atmosphere, others made conversations, either to make friends or who knows, maybe to size each other up?!? Regardless, we were mostly focused on ourselves and how we were going to wow the judges.

The tension rose in the conreference where a total of 11 other finalists were also waiting to meet the judges

The staff informed us that the judges were composed of very important people: Fashion Editor of the Wall Street Journal, the Fashion Editor of the NY Times, the Fashion director of Bloomingdale's, a member of SUPIMA, etc. All those names really just made us more nervous...so I told my sister we should rather focus on our speech and presentation. A long hour and a half later, they finally started the interviews because some judge arrived FASHIONABLY LATE...We were second (2) to go. As we walked in, 5 judges were sitting across the table with lights and cameras everywhere. It was quite an intimidating set up...

It felt like " Project Runway" !

Camera crew moments before the top 6 are revealed!

Cameras didn't bother us because we are Sagittarians, it was the short time allowed that was a concern. We immediately started our presentation trying to look as confident as possible, with our best foot forward....lol... A few questions were asked here and there but, we found ourselves talking most of the time. We were really REALLY hoping for some reaction, perhaps positive feedback?..lol... etc but did not receive any. And before we knew it, our 5 minute was passed.... Two hours went by,designer after designer did their presentation to the judges.

The judges were now deliberating...And it took them a few hour to make a decision!

The wait was long and draining!...

At 4pm, one of the judge finally came in as the 12 if us lined up against the wall...That's when we really got nervous...!!!

Peak Stressful Moment of the day!

My sister and I looked at each other with a look in our eyes that meant :" what if we don't make the cut? " Are we good enough? questions and doubts arose... And in no specific order, they called the following names as the TOP 6 FINALISTS:

1)Heber Sanchez
we smiled and applauded...still 5 to go...

Heber Sanchez

2)Nadia Atanasova
wow ok...4 more names left...we applauded...
Nadia Atanasova

3)Michael Venker
ok now that is half the bunch...we applauded..
Michael Venker

4)Gina DeSilva
omg, we aren't named...only two left!!!
Gina DeSilva

we applauded and...oops..yay!!!...that was us!..We looked at each other, smiled and walked to the front.

6)Robin Tomas
Yay!, that was our filipino buddy/designer sitting right next to us!!!
Robin Tomas

What a relief!!.....It was worth it after so many hours of waiting around.Sometimes, we all need to get some reassurance... and of course the opportunity to present our garments on the final runway show which will be on January 19th!

We left with big smiles and a few great photos...!

To-Tam and To-Nya with MARK INDELICATO from Ugly Betty and FERN MALLIS, the executive Director of 7th on Sixth productions, the Vice President of marketing for International Management Group models, as well as the Vice President of IMG fashion. She is best recognized for organizing Fashion Week, an event which IMG currently produces.

Stay tuned for more updates on this competition...




  1. Saw a picture of your cocktail dress/circle skirt on Supima's YouTube video, can't wait to see it in the Competition tonight!

  2. OMG just saw this msg!!! Hope you enjoyed the show!!