Coming of Age: Judge’s picks

We were thrilled to have three blockbuster guest judges in our Coming of Age Challenge.

Mary Kate Steinmiller is the Fashion Market Editor for Teen Vogue magazine. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she has contributed to Teen Vogue for 6 years.

Mary Kate picked Lovely Play Bill by Epitome by Renner Design for her $200 judge’s prize.

Mary Kate says:

“I love the retro poster feel of this design. Girls today are obsessed with celebrity culture…and judging from shows like MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16”, they want to feel like celebrities too. I think this invitation resembles the genuine NYC fashion/music event invites I receive on a daily basis. I think it will make girls feel like its a VIP party, a REAL event. The mix of fonts is super cool and I think teens will be drawn to the fact that it also resembles old school music posters. Its a fantastic design, and I’d love it for one of my parties. I think parents will accept that it has the feel of a real party invite, but also that retro groove. It doesn’t look like some club event, but still has that “real” party allure. I also like that it includes a website for the party…very cool and elevates the event.”

Marcy Blum is a conceptualist, event planner, entertaining expert and author. Marcy crafts every event with her own distinctive brand of unpretentious elegance, and an almost-preternatural ability to visualize space. And she has planned many young adult parties in her long career. Marcy’s impressive portfolio includes the weddings of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi, Billy Joel and Katie Lee, and Samantha Bryant and Colin Hanks.

Marcy chose Bright Rays by Angela Vivona.

Marcy says:

“Bright Rays is whimsical and the ice cream colors and hip design are used with a light touch so the whole invitation looks on trend, but not obnoxiously so. My clients would love that this invitation is tasteful and while not super simple is not obnoxiously extravagant for the occasion.”

Lisa Gaché is the foremost etiquette, manners and life skills expert for children from a parenting perspective. The Los Angeles Times named her company, Beverly Hills Manners, the etiquette school to “teach kids to be polite.” This educational and entertainment company, founded in 2006, is recognized for its new school approach to etiquette and manners.

Lisa chose Tweet Sixteen by Jana Volfova for her top honors.

Lisa says:

“Social media is extremely popular with this demographic and I feel the teens would respond favorably to this type of fun invitation that uses a play on words with something totally relatable.  The design is simple.  The color scheme with the background in orange is very hip and fun.  I like how the majority of the invitation is filled with a color with only a slight border of white as background.”

Our lovely judges also picked a few runner ups–they really struggled to pick just one from all our great entries!

Lisa’s first runner up is Torah Invitation by Lena Barakat.

Lisa says:

“I was drawn to the straightforward and modern design of this Bar Mitzvah invitation.  I also liked the color blue that the designer selected.  It is not the typical primary blue used on most invitations of this kind.  I thought the information was concise and laid out in a simple yet sophisticated manner.   I believe parents would be drawn to the illustration of the Torah scroll with the Jewish star as almost like logo or brand for the celebration.  I could see that element used throughout on everything from napkins, to place cards and menus, etc.”

Lisa’s second runner up is Glam Night in the City by Gakemi Art+Design.

Lisa says:

“What girl wouldn’t enjoy a Sweet 16 birthday invitation modeled after one of the most infamous television series celebrating women and their fabulousness?  Love the rich colors and sultry evening theme.  This invitation makes me want to get up and dance!”

Marcy’s first runner up is Fly, Butterfly by Ann Gardner.

Marcy says:

“Fly, Butterfly is almost an anachronism as it’s so elegant for a young woman and I really liked that about it.  The fonts and butterfly are so pretty and the whole piece suggests a very stylish, not raunchy or tacky coming of age that I think is poetic.”

Mary Kate’s first runner up is Carrie O’Neal‘s Little Black Dress.

Mary Kate says:

“I just think this is chic and glamorous for the style-minded teenager. Font choice is very clean. It expresses a fashion element without being typical in terms of fashion related invitations I see.”

Mary Kate’s second runner up is Iris‘s Hip Sixteen.

Mary Kate says:

“This just feels so cool and retro. I love the tape, for some reason it reminds me of 80s teen movies. Super cute and endearing.”

A giant thank you to our incredible guest judges for taking the time to review all of our unique entries and give us their very valuable opinions. If anyone knows what both teens and parents are looking for in coming of age invitations, it’s these ladies!!!

We’d also like to extend a warm welcome to a lot of the new designers who entered this challenge, many of whom are recognized above. We are so glad you are here and we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!! And congratulations on your stellar start at Minted.

Find more of Natasha on her blog.

  1. wonderful work ladies! x

  2. Ana

    This are lovely. Great work!

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  4. Paige

    Congrats everyone!

  5. Yolanda

    Awesome designs, congratulations to all 🙂

  6. Laura

    Congrats to everyone- great designs!

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