As a child growing up in China, Shuxian Kong had watched a fashion runway show and was immediately taken aback by the beauty of each collection. It was at that point when Kong became enamored with fashion and dreamt of being a fashion designer. As luck would have it, Kong’s grandmother worked in a garment factory and introduced her to the world of fashion. Kong gained tremendous insight on the inner workings of garment manufacturing and learned to sew on grandmother’s sewing machine.
Kong made the decision to attend Kent State University believing that it was best school in Ohio to teach her all the skills necessary to become a fashion designer. She excelled at school taking drawing, flat pattern and draping classes. Kong was a finalist for the Kent State CFDA competition, and seven looks were chosen for the school’s annual fashion show where she received the award for best sportswear.
Kong’s Supima collection theme is Doodling Childhood. The collection is inspired by Kong’s childhood using the drawings from her early childhood to design each garment.
Started in 2008, the annual Supima Design Competition was created to give runway exposure to emerging talent and was modeled on the legendary 1954 Wool Secretariat competition that launched the careers of the then-teenaged Yves St. Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.
Since its start, former Supima Design Competition winners have gone on to launch their own labels, show at New York Fashion Week, and secure jobs with top international labels including Michael Kors, Marchesa, Ralph Lauren and Phillip Lim.