by Stephen Garner

Haggar Clothing Co. has selected the winner of the first Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) SuperLabâ menswear design competition. Zachary Hall of Sierra Madre, California, bested two other finalists to take home the top prize – an offer for a full-time position on the Haggar design team.

The competition, which began with eight graduates of the FIDM menswear program in August, required participants to develop plans for 15-piece collections that demonstrate a deep understanding of the millennial consumer market and the Haggar brand. Beyond the designs, Haggar also asked finalists to source materials and create the technical specifications and details that a factory would need to produce each garment.

Competitors faced two rounds of judging, with a presentation of six initial silhouettes in August and today’s full collection presentation, where they were evaluated on criteria including creativity, appropriateness to market and the collection’s viability.

“While the FIDM SuperLabâ branded banner is one we’ve used for many years for special projects, this marked the first menswear competition and the first with a job offer on the line,” said Barbara Bundy, FIDM Vice President of Education. “Using their education in materials sourcing and technical package development, our graduates moved from the conceptual side of design to the more tangible and logistical elements necessary to produce a retail collection.”

“This contest model isn’t something a lot of brands would try,” added Tony Anzovino, Chief Sourcing and Merchandising Officer at Haggar. “Working with FIDM brought us three highly qualified designers, any of whom could have been a good fit on our team. That said, we are delighted to begin work with Zach this summer.”

Hall is expected to join the Haggar design team in June. Other finalists in the competition were Nicole Snyder of Ankeny, Iowa, and Ashley Cheng of Taipei, Taiwan.