This one-of-a-kind competition and social event benefiting NEWH challenges design teams from some of hospitality’s hottest design firms to craft couture fashions from exhibitor-donated FF&E samples.

1st Place Winner

ForrestPerkins – Quintessence

With an almost perfect score, the team from San Francisco-based design firm ForrestPerkins took top honors (and a $3,000 cash prize) for its “Quintessence” entry at BDwest’s signature Hospitality Fashion Challenge Runway Event benefiting NEWH, held Thursday, April 6, at Exchange LA.

The winning team described their creation as a delicate, omnipresent entity with “an intangible and celestial power. One with the ability to assemble and adhere the most diverse of elements into a coherent and unified whole. The mother of all the elements—air, water, fire, wind.”


TEAM LEADER – Laura West
TEAM MEMBERS – Aaron Newton, Barbara Best-Santos, Barbara Speer, Blaire Schenck, Gail Collins, Justin Yap, Miki Hirai, Nicole Smith, Tony Capriccio, Veronica Palacio
MODEL – Michaela Molleur


HBA – Zen Joo

The design team from Santa Monica, California-based HBA (Hirsch Bedner Associates) earned second place honors and a $1,000 cash prize for its “Zen Joo” (Japanese for “Queen of Zen”) entry.

The HBA entry celebrated the centuries-old art of ikebana, communicating the harmonious balance between human and nature through a floral arrangement, abiding by specific parameters of linear construction. The team describes their dress: “Beginning with truth, represented in light, continuing with support, shown in an enveloping bodice, and finishing with a moderating order, ikebana is interpreted.”


TEAM LEADER – Beth Bloom
TEAM MEMBERS – Lina Leonetti, Yolanda Glass, Emily Hinkamp, Niloofar Khalighi, Chloe Christian
MODEL – Caroline Ingalls


Judges for this year’s runway-style competition included…

Daniel Hyde
vice president design, development & construction, Pacifica Hotel Company
David Kuperberg
chief development officer, Dream Hotel Group
Mark Pratt
vice president, national director of hospitality, The Walsh Group
George Scammell
director, hotel design & refurbishment, Holland America Group serving Princess Cruises
Lora Spran
manager interior design, NBC Universal Creative
Sam Suleman
principal & executive vice president, Equinox Hospitality
Swati A. Valbh-Patel
co-principal, Prospera Hotels, Inc.

2017 Design Teams

Allgood Allen Design – Winchester, CA
Bergman Walls & Associates – Henderson, NV
Bricolage – Santa Monica, CA

Diamond Interiors LA – Los Angeles
, CA
DLR Group – Los Angeles, CA
EDG Interior Architecture + Design – Novato, CA
ForrestPerkins – San Francisco, CA

HBA International – San Francisco

, CA

KNA Design – Los Angeles, CA

MBH Architects – Alameda, CA
Puccini Group – San Francisco, CA
TANDEM – Las Vegas, NV
tvsdesign – Atlanta, GA
Wilson Associates – Los Angeles, CA
Wimberly Interiors – Beverly Hills, CA

Interested in the 2018 Hospitality Fashion Challenge?

Participating as a Design Team

Contact Keisha at or 513.263.9341 to be contacted when the call for teams is issued.


View available sponsorship opportunities or contact your sales representative for more information.