Instructors are continuing to visit each student in the studio to discuss their designs and progress for the Eastman Naia Design Challenge. All of the students are showing great signs of progress while creating the understructures of their gowns to realize the forms they envision that will be made with at least 75% Eastman Naia™ cellulosic yarn..

Eastman asked Instructor Kevin Crouch what he thinks the students are gaining from participating in the challenge. "The first thing students gain is the experience of working with different types of fabric, how they handle them and how to manipulate them while working with the machine,” he responded. "Secondly, the students get the knowledge of what it’s like to work with a customer–what it's like to incorporate fabric into the client's needs and desires and not just their own ideas."

One of the Eastman Naia Design Challenge judges knows all too well about working for a wide range of clients in different high pressure atmospheres. Judge Amanda Valentine has styled for bands like Maroon 5, co-owned a vintage clothing shop and has been on Project Runway twice (talk about intensity)! Valentine is currently running her own clothing line, VALENTINE VALENTINE, while traveling around the U.S. for fashion weeks. Read more below about the amazing designer, business woman and rock musician who will help decide the winner of the Eastman scholarship.

Amanda Valentine’s Background:

Amanda Valentine was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to a beauty queen/artist mother and world traveler/professor father. The youngest of five children, Valentine found her calling at an early age by adapting the family's old drapes and worn clothing into what could only be called... edgy children's wear.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a Clothing and Textile Design degree, Valentine joined older brother James in Los Angeles, where he was beginning his meteoric rise in music. After suggesting she shadow their wardrobe stylist on his band's first music video (Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe"), Amanda fell madly in love with wardrobe styling and costume design, inspiring her to apprentice under LA's top fashion stylists, all while playing bass in a garage rock band in Silverlake clubs at night.

After a few visits to Nashville while living in LA, the vibe of Music City, and its fantastic fried chicken, led Valentine to make it her home in 2006.

After co-owning a vintage shop, managing some of the city's hottest boutiques and playing in a couple bands around town, Valentine returned to wardrobe styling and worked on countless music videos, photo shoots, commercials and red carpet events.

In 2013, Valentine was selected as a designer to compete on the 11th season of Emmy Award Winning Project Runway. After placing 8th and showing a collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Valentine returned to styling and launched her clothing line VALENTINE VALENTINE.
In 2014, Valentine was voted back by fans to compete on Season 13 of Project Runway where she placed 2nd and again showed a stellar collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

Amanda now runs her clothing line (produced in her converted factory space in Nashville and now under her name Amanda Valentine) and travels to fashion weeks across the United States each season, all while dressing rock bands. Someday she'll start a band again herself.

Keep up the good work, Naia students! Encourage them with us on our social channels. Follow our Instagram (eil_innovation) and Twitter (@Eastman_EIL) and like our Eastman Innovation Lab Facebook page! #O’MoreNaia #materialsmatter #sustainnovation #education #create #design #innovate

O'More Design Students are putting together the
understructures of their gowns.

Instructors are continuing to visit each student in the
studio to discuss their designs and progress for the
Eastman Naia Design Challenge.

O'More Students are learning to use Naia™ for their