AURORA, IL--(Marketwired - Nov 5, 2015) - BERNINA of America, the premier manufacturer of sewing, embroidery and quilting machines, in partnership with Fashion X, is pleased to announce that 12 BERNINA Blanc Design Challenge designers have been invited to showcase their designs on the runway in Austin during the Blanc event taking place at Fair Market on Friday, November 6. The top 12 designers include Stefanie Bell, Kassie Carrell, Dina Chavez, Alisha Contreras, Venny Etienne, Hannah Leonard, Neil Marek, Marissa Marsh, Cristal Martinez, Kraig Pieper, Samantha Plasencia, and Amanda Scarlett Smith. Ten designers were chosen by an esteemed panel of judges and two were chosen by fans from an online vote. 

"We are excited by the amount of interest we have received for the BERNINA Blanc Design Challenge," said Amy Gutierrez, Director of Marketing for BERNINA of America. "Our twelve finalists presented very creative and unique designs that stood out from nearly 60 entries. We are looking forward to seeing our finalists' finished garments take the runway Friday in Austin where we will select a grand prize winner."

Fifty-nine designers entered the BERNINA Blanc Design Challenge. The designers were required to submit sketches of garments that were original, innovative, and well-constructed and designed using an all-white color palette. Entries were judged by industry leaders such as Michelle Lee, editor-in-chief of NYLON Magazine, designer Eileen Fisher, bloggers Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes and Courtney Kerr of What Courtney Wore, style icon Catherine Giudici Lowe of The Bachelor, and Project Runway Season 13 winner, Sean Kelly. The grand prize winner will receive a $20,000 Grand Prize package which includes a BERNINA 790 (B 790) sewing machine with embroidery module, a BERNINA 1300 MDC serger, and the exclusive BERNINA suitcase system. Other prizes include garment production services from Trunkist and online fashion business classes with Fashion Business Accelerator 360. 

The BERNINA Blanc Design Challenge was created by BERNINA of America and Fashion X Austin to provide designers the opportunity to share their creative abilities and be awarded with a unique package to reward their excellence. To view the 12 finalist sketches, visit

Founded in Switzerland more than 100 years ago, BERNINA is the world's premier manufacturer with a proven reputation for offering quality state-of-the-art sewing, quilting and embroidery machines, overlockers/sergers, and embroidery software. BERNINA's leadership is marked by an impressive number of ambassadors, industry leaders, influencers and bloggers, who chose to partner with the company. BERNINA products are sold in the United States through a network of over 400 fully trained independent dealerships that also offer support and education. Select BERNINA and bernette machines, and BERNINA software can also be purchased through BERNINA's eCommerce site, BERNINA products are designed for beginning to advanced sewists and priced to meet a variety of budgets, with new products being introduced every year. You can follow BERNINA on Facebook:, Instagram: @BERNINAUSA, and Pinterest:, and read BERNINA's WeAllSew blog at To learn more about BERNINA and to find a Dealer, visit or call (630)978-2500.

About Fashion X
Fashion X produces high end live fashion events such as Austin Fashion Week ( and Fashion X Dallas ( which showcase emerging fashion designers alongside national brands and sponsors. Fashion X events are attended by industry leaders, but are also ticketed to the general public, giving engaged consumers a rare opportunity to experience high quality runway production. Fashion X live events are enhanced with year-round original content and a strong social presence targeted to the individual geographic markets. With recent media coverage from WWD, Southern Living Magazine (Austin was named a top 5 fashion week in the South), RackedLA, Elle Magazine, (the "fashion week to watch"), and many more, Fashion X empowers significant exposure for emerging designers. More information at or email Matt Swinney,

Contact Information:

Media Contact for BERNINA of America, Inc.:
Joanne Tedesco