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During the time of the competition, Amy was a junior at UNCG. Her world revolves around pushing her own creative limits. Her dream is to continue as a maker, designing clothes that she herself would admire as an outsider. Because the characteristics of denim are rather unconventional, Amy was intrigued by the challenge presented to her within the Dream Big Denim & Degas competition. Much like the Cone sisters interest in collecting, Amy finds herself collecting flowers to hang on the wall or to close between the pages of a book. It was because of her imagination that the Denim & Degas experience was so special to her, and she has stretched that same imagination for her creation at the show.



Gordon Holliday was a studying as a senior at UNCG during the time of the show, whilst dreaming of becoming a creative fashion designer. As an artist, there isn’t much that doesn’t inspire Gordon. Anything from movies, to poetry, to technology, his creative spirit is constantly in rotation. For the competition, Gordon’s designs were inspired by Degas’ painting “Ballerinas in Pink”, as well has Degas use of elegancy, and strong use of color harmony. Comic books, much like clothing designs, are forms of creative art, and if Gordon could collect one thing this is what it would be. Comic books to this day harness many of his ideas and in the same way, his creativity within the Dream Big Denim & Degas competition has soared.


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Keianna Smalls was a senior at North Carolina A&T University during the time of the show. She is determined to one day become her own boss. Keianna dreams of one day selling her apparel online and later hopes to open a store that features her designs. The detailed movement incorporated in Degas art initially caught her attention, and has served as her inspiration throughout the Dream Big Denim & Degas competition. Trending silhouettes and styles, as well as celebrities such as Kanye West, Rihanna, and Sophia Amoroso– inspire her designs. Welcome to Keianna’s World.



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Stephanie Shaneyfelt was a sophomore at UNCG during the time of the show, and is continuing to study Apparel Product Design. Stephanie’s vision of her future involves anything dealing with design or garment construction, and the competition was just a preview of her creativity. Stephanie is inspired by nature, femininity and elegance and prefers to keep her designs seamless and flowing. She expressed enlightenment by the idea of being able to work with such an “unusual medium”, like Denim & Degas, that is able to catch an audience off guard. When asked if Stephanie could collect one thing, like the Cone Sisters art, she answered it would be the first garments from famous designers at the jump-start of their careers. It would serve as an inspiring piece to her imagination.

All competition finalists photographed by Torey Searcy