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Teen T-Shirt Design Competition: And the Winners Are…

Alice W. Schwarz, Museum Educator

Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010


Above, from left to right: Hannah Sung, third place (tie); Daniel Salerno, second place; Selena Kim, first place; and Kai Smith, third place (tie).

«After days of viewing the entries and hours of narrowing the field, we have chosen four winners of the Teen T-Shirt Design Competition inspired by the special exhibition American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity.» (See my previous article for more information about the contest.) Together with Aimee Dixon, a fellow Museum educator, I first unpacked, sorted, and reviewed the design boards, with the help of other educators, event coordinators, and members of the Education staff. The American Woman curators, Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda, then selected the styles they felt best embodied the artistic vision of the exhibition. We then passed the designs to Patrick Robinson, head designer of Gap, and Hamish Bowles of Vogue magazine, who spent quite a long time debating, reviewing, and deciding which entries were the most fashion savvy.


Above: Patrick Robinson (left), Executive Vice President of Global Design for Gap, and Hamish Bowles, European editor-at-large of Vogue, review t-shirt designs.


Third place design by Kai Smith.

The designs were so well done that there was actually a tie for third place! One of the third-place winners, Kai Smith, hails from Queens Village and is a junior at Pathways College Prep High School. In his free time, Kai likes to shop at vintage stores and Urban Outfitters. He is a huge fan of Amy Winehouse and enjoys the movies The Devil Wears Prada and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. Patrick and Hamish saw that Kai's design possessed strong construction and that he had created a look that reflected what a young woman would want to wear.


Third place design by Hannah Sung; (left: front, right: back).

Sharing the spotlight for third place is Hannah Sung. Hannah lives in Flushing and is a senior at Frank Sinatra High School. She likes reading Rolling Stone magazine while listening to the Beatles. She enjoys shopping at Banana Republic and H&M, and her favorite movie is Fight Club. Patrick and Hamish loved Hannah's juxtaposition of the American flag and women's silhouettes. They felt her design offered a fresh perspective of all of the American Woman archetypes.


Second place design by Daniel Salerno.

In second place is Daniel Salerno, who, according to Patrick and Hamish, had a very strong graphic quality in his T-shirt and "brought his design to today." Daniel is from New Jersey and is a junior at River Dell High School. He likes reading People magazine and listening to techno, pop, and rock music. He prefers the designs of Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, and his favorite place to shop is American Eagle Outfitters.


First place design by Selena Kim; (left: front, right: back).

Finally, the first-place winner, Selena Kim, is from Jericho, New York, and is a senior at Jericho Senior High School. She enjoys reading ARTnews and the New York Times Magazine while listening to rap rock and K-pop. She likes the movie Dead Poets Society and enjoys shopping at H&M and Marshalls. Patrick and Hamish saw great artistry in Selena's design and agreed that her piece was the perfect culmination of the artistic conception of the exhibition.


Above, left: Teens create their own designs in the Fashion Illustration Studio. Right: Fashion illustration interpretations of the modern American woman.

Teen Festival of Fashion

What better way to celebrate this spectacular contest that with a truly fashionable and fantastic event, our Teen Festival of Fashion, which was held on Saturday, July 17. The morning started in true star style with a stroll down the red carpet by teens showing off their favorite T-shirts or outfits, complete with a photographer snapping away! In the "Teen Screens" room, teens were inspired by fashions from the past as they enjoyed treats and watched movie clips from the 1920s through the 1940s. The "Design Studio" room is where inspiration came to life: teens viewed a slide show of the six American Woman archetypes and then took matters into their own hands by creating clothing designs based on archetypes of their choice. "Scent of an American Woman" was a scintillating experience, to say the least! Teens learned about the perfume trends of each era from a professional perfumer. Six unique and intriguing scents were created especially for this event so the teens could have one to take home. With the tunes of Madonna and Lady Gaga blasting away, the "Wall-to-Wall" room was a sensation! Teens were invited to leave their mark on the design world by composing their own views of the modern American Woman and jotting down the names of their inspirations and favorite designers. The "Art of Dress" scavenger hunt provided a fashionable feast for the eyes as teens ventured forth into the Museum to find fashion-related pieces of art, finishing their hunt in the American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity galleries. The culminating moment of the Festival was surely the T-Shirt Design Awards Ceremony, during which the winning works were showcased for everyone to see! Teens indulged their creative and fashionable side at this first of many show-stopping teen events that my colleagues and I will be hosting at the Met in the coming year.

Alice W. Schwarz is Museum educator in charge of Teen Programs.

Tag(s): T-shirt, teen
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About the Author

Alice W. Schwarz is a Museum educator in the Education Department.

About this Blog

Now at the Met offers in-depth articles and multimedia features about the Museum's current exhibitions, events, research, announcements, behind-the-scenes activities, and more.