Ballinger Designers Put their Twist on Fashion Challenge

  • 04.19.24|1 min. read

An interdisciplinary team of Ballinger designers participated in the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) PA/NJ/DE Chapter’s Fashion Meets Finish competition and runway show. Fashion Meets Finish is a spirited design competition in which design teams are paired with material manufacturers to create a themed garment from the manufacturers’ materials. This year’s theme, “The Sound of Philadelphia,” challenged local firms to create clothing inspired by musicians connected to our city.

Using carpet tiles from Interface and flooring from Durato, the Ballinger team created “Checker Out,” a garment inspired by Philadelphia legend Chubby Checker and his 1960 hit “The Twist.” The complex nature of the assigned materials brought many employees of Ballinger together to offer advice and assistance. The team worked with engineers, architects, and interior designers, as well as the material reps to bring the dress together.

“Both the carpet from Interface and the grain in the wood flooring from Durato have a mid-century feel we wanted to bring into our garment.”

The team incorporated the song’s provocation to twist into their design as well, focusing on draping and circular volume.

After months of preparation, the competition culminated in a party and runway show on April 12 at Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena. Ballinger interior designer and Fashion Meets Finish runway model Rebecca Kendra, NCIDQ debuted the red, black, and grey checkerboard-patterned dress, incorporating Chubby Checker’s twist as she walked the runway.

The Ballinger team appreciated the opportunity to explore the use of interior materials in new ways, and connect with the Philadelphia design community. Fashion Meets Finish is really important because it provides designers with the opportunity to flex their skills and do something different than we typically do in our day to day,” said designer Kirsten Smith.