Local fashion design student Gahee Bae will represent The Art Institute of Seattle in the seventh annual national Cool vs. Cruel Fashion Design Competition. Bae’s design was selected from her school to advance her as a finalist in the competition. Bae is one of 18 finalists from across North America who will compete in the fur-free fashion design competition sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and The Art Institutes.
The competition challenges Art Institute students in fashion design programs throughout the United States and in Vancouver to creatively reinterpret and replace animal fur on runway designs by Fendi, Alexander McQueen, Gucci or Oscar de la Renta. This year’s finalists were chosen from among more than 200 entries.
“This competition gives the next generation of designers the opportunity to learn about why many people are opposed to animal fur, as well as try their hand at alternatives,” says Michelle McDonald, fashion outreach manager of the fur-free campaign for The HSUS.
As a finalist, Bae has been awarded a cash prize in addition to being entered into the national competition. The national grand-prize winner (chosen in mid-November) will receive an expense-paid, week-long internship in New York City with a celebrated designer from the panel of judges.
The judging panel consists of professionals from the fashion industry, including designers John Bartlett; Victoria Bartlett; Marc Bouwer; Ally Chomer; Leanne Hilgart; Elizabeth Olsen; fashion photographer Nigel Barker; magazine editors Mickey Boardman and Shelly Vella; and The Discerning Brute blog founder Joshua Katcher.