Fashion design students compete in Design Vendetta

Four student designers went head to head in competition to see who was the top designer at Harlow’s for the first ever Design Vendetta, Wednesday.

The designers, Tamika Bellamy, Jules Thor, Yennie Zhou and Faatui Toele, were given an hour to complete an outfit based on the fabric and material they were randomly given. At the end of the hour, two designers were picked for the final round.

“The four finalists will be competing tonight for a spot in the fashion show in August,” said Dave Icarangal, the vice president of Tiana Vega.

Starting at roughly 8:30 p.m., Rickey Sanchez, the announcer for the evening as well as Couture Connection’s marketing director, asked how excited the audience was. A loud wave of cheering quickly followed, raising over the booming techno music blasting through the speakers.

“This evening is completely unscripted,” Sanchez said. “All the models are going through hair and makeup on stage, in front of the audience.”

The four judges, Kimblerly Daya, Tiana Vega, Jennifer Richards and Sean Thomas Bjers, judged the outfits that the four designers created on creativity and completeness.

After the hour, Sanchez gave the cue for the designers to finish up and fit their models.

Zhou’s model was first up, wearing a silky brown and blue mixed dress with fabric roses in her hair, belt and shoes. Her strut was confident and classy as she walked the room of Harlow’s.

Next was Bellamy, whose model wore an “unfinished, messy-looking” top. When her model strutted through Harlow’s, she stopped for pictures pridefully.

Then came Toele, whose dress was “totally hot,” Bjers said. His model went around the room with a confident walk, with tight curls in her hair flowing behind her.

Lastly was Thor. The moment her model came onto the stage, a loud explosion of cheers sounded from the audience. Her model wore a tight green dress with a floral pattern skirt connecting to the back.

Each judge gave their criticism and compliments to each designer for their outfits, concluding in their final decision for who moved on to the next round.

Thor and Zhou were picked to continue to the finals. They were given only a half-hour to complete another outfit. When the time was up, the judges again gave critiques.

Zhou’s model wore a silky white polka-dot dress with a back belt. The backing of the dress was mixed with more black fabric.

Thor’s model had a “Japanese, Tokyo look” to it, Thor said, with a plaid skirt and halter top combination and a scarf to finish.

“Let it be known that I had no intentions of this, but I want you both in the fashion show,” Vega said. “Since it’s my fashion show, I say, you both win.”

A soft roar from the audience followed shortly after Vega’s announcement.

“It was so hard to be under that pressure,” Thor said afterward. “I had to keep pushing it though, just keep pushing.”

This event was produced by Couture Connection and Tiana Vega. All event proceeds went to Sweet Dreams Foundation, which sponsors children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, creating their dream bedroom in hopes to change their quality of life. The next fashion competition will be the Design Dreams Charity Fashion Show on Aug. 7.


1. Design Vendetta Brouchure
2. Model Shelby Campbell in Yeenie Zhou’s first outfit
3. Model Bri Metcalf in Tamika Bellamy’s first outfit
4. Model Haley Glasco in Faatui Toele’s first outfit
5. Model Savannah Rodriquez in Jules Thor’s first outfit
6. Shelby Campbell and Yeenie Zhou
7. Tamika Bellamy and Bri Metcalf
8. Faatiu Toele and Haley Glasco
9. Jules Thor and Savannah Rodriquez
10. Shelby Campwell in Yeenie Zhou’s second outfit (front)
11. Shelby Campwell in Yeenie Zhou’s second outfit (back)
12. Savannah Rodriquez in Jules Thor’s second outfit (front)
13. Savannah Rodriquez in Jules Thor’s second outfit (back)
14. Shelby Campwell, Yeenie Zhou, Jules Thor and Savannah Rodriquez

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