AVON, Ohio (July 19, 2023)— While it’s nerve-wracking to put yourself in the public eye, it’s paying off for two teens who came out on top of the 23rd Annual Stuck at Prom® Scholarship Contest. Nearly 200 high school students from the U.S. and Canada crafted captivating prom attire completely out of Duck Tape® for a chance to win $10,000 college scholarships. Those students were narrowed down to the top 10 by contest judges and now the public has voted on their favorite creations to crown the Grand Prize winners: Karla Torres Tejeda of Los Angeles, California, takes the prize for Best Dress and Ian Hernandez Rojas of Taylorsville, Utah, wins Best Tux.
Garnering the most online votes, Tejeda wowed the public with her dress inspired by 18th century art while Rojas stood out from the others with his suit that honors his Salvadoran roots. They will each take home $10,000 scholarships for their beautiful, handcrafted ensembles.
“From going viral on social media to fielding interviews with the media, the top 10 finalists gave it their all,” said Ashley Luke, senior product manager at Shurtape Technologies, LLC, the company that markets the Duck® brand. “With so many talented teens entering this year’s contest, the competition was high, but Karla and Ian really exemplified how an ordinary material, like Duck Tape, can be transformed into artful attire.”
Learn more about this year’s winners and their standout Duck Tape promwear:
2023 Stuck at Prom Grand Prize Dress Winner: Karla Torres Tejeda
Tejeda used 14 rolls of pink, white and gold Duck Tape and spent 120 hours making her glamourous prom dress design with accessories, including a fan and clutch purse.
Inspired by an era of flourishing gold, elegance and pastel floral prints, her fashionable French-inspired dress is a full length, flowy gown with ruffle sleeves, lace-like details, and gold embellishments.
“This dress is inspired by 18th century French art that I saw at the Getty Museum,” Tejeda said. “I was captivated by the amount of gold and extravagant paintings they had on display. I am fascinated by clothes and how they have evolved through the course of history. Although we are in the 21st century, it doesn’t stop us from dressing up from any time period.”
2023 Stuck at Prom Grand Prize Tux Winner: Ian Hernandez Rojas
Rojas used 11 roles of Duck Tape and spent 57 hours to create his Salvadoran suit.
Paying homage to the Aztecs and Mayans that settled near his homeland in ancient times, Rojas incorporates Mayan Gods Kinich Ahau, the God of the sun, and Kukulkan, the God of weather and life, as well as motifs into his tux. His prom accessories include a headdress and serpentine animal.
“My family is from El Salvador, and I wanted to make something to tribute that,” Rojas said. “I wanted to fuse the culture of the Mayans and the elegance and formality of promwear without coming off as a costume.”
Eight runners-up will each receive $500 scholarships and Duck Brand prize packs worth $100. These finalists include Neha Nanubhai of Sammamish, Washington; Aubri Sparkman of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Ava Motl of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ziqin Chiodi of Orange County, Florida; Xander Niles of Racine, Wisconsin; Hailey Yoo of Duluth, Georgia; Emma Chang of Midland, Texas; and Evee Ashba of West End, North Carolina.
Learn more about the 23rd Annual Duck Brand Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest at StuckAtProm.com. For more information on Duck Tape and to get inspired with craft ideas and instructions, visit DuckBrand.com.