Maiti-Marquez walks the runway with models wearing her designs.

Maiti-Marquez walks the runway with models wearing her designs.

Nearly 600 guests kicked off Fiesta® with glitz and glamour at UIW’s 36th presentation of the Cutting Edge™ Fiesta® Fashion Show. This annual event not only spotlighted UIW’s fashion students, but honored Mickey Agnese, wife of UIW President Dr. Louis Agnese, on her 30th anniversary as First Lady of the university and presented the inaugural Pinkie People’s Choice Award.

The award, an endowed scholarship, was the gift of special friends in honor of Mary Helen (Pinkie) Devine Pinner’s 90th birthday. Pinner and her late husband Bill Pinner gave generously of their time, treasure and talent throughout their lives to various organizations including Incarnate Word. This award will continue that legacy of giving by recognizing the student whose design is chosen as the audience favorite.

The Cutting Edge show, produced entirely by students, featured garments illustrated, designed and constructed by seniors in UIW’s fashion design program. The 2016 student designers were seniors Rebekah Caldera, Jazmin Cerritos, Alejandro Lee Charles, Diana Garcia, Jasmine Hernandez, Stephanie Rani Maiti-Marquez, Ursula Silva, Andrea Stain, Maria Tinagero and Shanice White.

Maiti-Marquez took home the top prize, the 2016 Best of Show, as well as first place in construction and third place in design. The best of show award is determined by the garment scored highest by a panel of judges and includes a $1,500 scholarship. The Maiti-Marquez collection, a celebration of her Indian and Mexican heritage, was created using boxy silhouettes and traditional fibers of Mexico along with the colors and embroidery of India creating a fusion collection that embodied both cultures. She was also the audience favorite earning her the inaugural Pinkie People’s Choice Award.

Caldera took first place in design and third place in construction. Second place in design went to Garcia and Stain took second place in construction.

Proceeds benefit scholarships for students in UIW’s fashion management program. This year students Olivia Willms and Natalia Hendrichs each received a $1,500 scholarship.