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News Release

November 13, 2019

Students Win LA Haunt Couture Award

Five College of the Canyons interior design students won the People’s Choice Award at the International Interior Design Association’s LA Haunt Couture show on Thursday, Oct. 24.

Held at Avalon Hollywood, the competition fuses fashion, design and architecture while challenging designers to create and construct inspiring haute couture fashion from interior design materials.

“This is our fourth win in five years,” said Holly Hitt-Zuniga, an assistant professor of interior design at the college. “We have now become ‘the team to beat.’ As their faculty advisor, I’m so proud of our students, even though each of them balances a full-time class load while working. They pulled together a great costume and performance in six weeks.”

Abigail Ornelas, Rachel Provencal, Jesse Franco, Kimberly Meza, and Melanie Ornelas worked together to create a couture design portraying the symptoms of claustrophobia.

Judged by former “Project Runway” contestants Samantha Black, Sonjia Williams, Gunnar Deatherage, and Melissa Fleis, the competition included nine large interior design and architecture firms and three schools. The college was the only two-year school competing.

“This event teaches our interior design and architecture students about stretching their creativity, the importance of collaboration, meeting fast deadlines and networking,” said Hitt-Zuniga. “It is a fantastic event our students get the opportunity to participate in, earning them contacts for future jobs, as well as a design competition participation they can add to their resumes.”