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Winning Students Announced in The HSUS and The Art Institutes' Nationwide Fur-Free Fashion Competition

  • Valeria Krasavina, a student from Miami International University of Art and Design, designed the grand prize-winning garment. Seventh House

  • Cynthia Xie, from The Art Institute of Vancouver, won second place for her design. Seventh House

  • Monique Araujo, from The Art Institute of Charleston, designed the garment that won third prize. Seventh House

  • Isaiah Whitmore, from The Art Institute of Seattle, received an honorary mention for his design. Seventh House


NEW YORK — The Humane Society of the United States and The Art Institutes are pleased to announce Valeria Krasavina from Miami International University of Art and Design as the Grand Prize winner of the sixth annual Cool vs. Cruel Fur-Free Fashion Design Competition. Cynthia Xie from The Art Institute of Vancouver placed second, Monique Araujo from The Art Institute of Charleston placed third, and Isaiah Whitmore from The Art Institute of Seattle received an honorable mention.

To view the national winners' designs online, click here.

Cool vs. Cruel challenges Art Institutes students enrolled in Fashion programs throughout the United States, as well as Canada, to creatively reinterpret and replace the animal fur on runway looks by well-known designers. This year’s winners were chosen from among more than 200 entries.

Selecting the winners were designers Marc Bouwer, John Bartlett, Victoria Bartlett, Nick Friedberg, Leanne Hilgart, Holly Nichols, Elizabeth Olsen, Kimberly Ovitz and Charlotte Ronson; magazine editors Mickey Boardman and Shelly Vella; The Discerning Brute founder Joshua Katcher; and 2009 competition winner Ingrid Bergstrom-Kendrick.

“I am honestly amazed and thrilled about winning – I’m very proud of my garment and feel it represented my vision and my style, but to have industry professionals select my design as the best in the country is truly indescribable,” said Krasavina.

Krasavina will be honored at the Cool vs. Cruel awards ceremony in New York City. HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle will host the event, which will feature a special guest DJ. Krasavina will also receive an expense-paid, weeklong internship with a celebrated fur-free designer. The second-place and third-place winners will receive a $600 and $400 cash award, respectively.

According to Bruce E. Dempsey, vice president, academic affairs specialist for The Art Institutes, Cool vs. Cruel provides students with, "an outlet where they may showcase their fashion design talents, demonstrating their abilities to create beautiful, wearable clothing while taking into consideration compassion towards animals."

The awards ceremony will be held in NYC on Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Bowery Hotel at 335 Bowery, and will be attended by many of the celebrity judges. All 17 finalist designs will be on display.

Learn more about the competition, read the rules, and see the original runway looks at www.CoolvsCruel.org or http://www.artinstitutes.edu/pr.aspx?ID=AI2123.


The Art Institutes (www.artinstitutes.edu) is a system of more than 45 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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