Philadelphia University textile design students nearly swept the textile category in the 2016 Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) Student Design Competition. Undergraduate Samantha Russo ’18 came in first place, while graduate students Becky Flax ’17 and Rachel Snack ’17, respectively, placed fourth and fifth.
The competition aims to expose college-level art, fashion and textile design students and professors to designing with alpaca fiber. This year, each entry included textile samples with at least 50 percent alpaca fiber, as well as a concept design board utilizing the theme of alpaca as an earth-friendly fiber and a one-page essay.
In Russo’s knit studio class, taught by adjunct professor Leah D’ambrosio, she knit a swatch made primarily of alpaca yarns for the competition, which she envisioned as a long cardigan. Russo said she was inspired by pebbles and the way they naturally create an interesting negative space.