Cynthia Rowley Puts On Her Judging Hat For Diet Coke And Target

CFDA members Cynthia Rowley, Zac Posen, and L’Wren Scott recently put on their judging hats for the Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge. Up-and-coming designers from all over the country submitted cool t-shirts featuring Diet Coke, and the trio had a tough decision to make from the top 10 creations.

The winner and grand prize recipient of a $10,000 scholarship went to 25-year-old Gustavo Alonso from Miami International University of Art & Design. His winning design (shown in the right side of the above photo) will be available at Target stores beginning September 2.

Rowley chatted with us about the judging process, her love for Diet Coke, fall’s hottest trends, and more. Check it out:

So tell us more about this project with Diet Coke.

We were asked to judge these new emerging designers’ work and their t-shirt designs to represent the new Diet Coke. We chose Gustavo Alonso from Miami. It was tough; it was a really hard decision because there are so many great designs, and we could only choose one. Everybody did different things, and we felt this one was the most fashion-y. It really showed the Diet Coke logo the best. I would wear that t-shirt, I think it’s really cute. There were entries from all over the country, and all the fashion schools participated. It was a really tough decision. I felt like I was back in my seat on Project Runway!

Do you drink Diet Coke?

I’m a Diet Coke fanatic! It kind of gets me through Fashion Week, I have to say. I have to pace myself. I have one in the morning, one around lunch time, and then three o’clock, four o’clock, and seven o’clock. I have to really pace myself because it’s kind of my big treat.

How does it feel to be part of something so iconic as the Diet Coke brand?

I have so many personal memories of Diet Coke — it really represents good times, and is just so much a part of my life that it’s exciting to be able to be a part of this. Gustavo won a very substantial prize for designing this, and I think it’s great to incorporate great design into everyday products. So, this is the perfect coming together of things that I love — fashion and Diet Coke.

Speaking of fashion, what are some fall trends that you love?

I’m really into these leggings that we’ve been making that are made of really thick bonded fabric that’s printed and then cover-stitched, almost like a wetsuit. They make everybody look amazing, so I’m really into those. And mixing leather and knit. So it looks like a sweatshirt, but it has leather sleeves, or it’s a knit dress with leather bottom. So mixing leather is important.

For more, follow Rowley and Diet Coke on Twitter, and be sure to pick up the winning t-shirt at Target stores this weekend. Catch a behind-the-scenes look at the judging process below:

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