MTSU alumna hits the ‘Target’ in Diet Coke design ...

MTSU alumna hits the ‘Target’ in Diet Coke design contest

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift models the winning T-shirt for the 2013 Young Designer Challenge, created by MTSU alumna Julianna Bass. (Photo courtesy of

An MTSU alumna is the national grand prize winner in season two of the Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge.

Julianna Bass, a 2002 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in textiles, merchandising and design, defeated 20 semifinalists to capture top honors with her unique T-shirt design.

“The new Diet Coke T-shirt is a refreshing take on the classic white tee,” said Rebecca Minkoff, professional designer and Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge judge. “Julianna’s design perfectly captures the energy and boost that Diet Coke provides.”

The public voted for their favorite design from among the 20 semifinalists. The 10 designs that received the largest numbers of votes made the finals and were submitted to Minkoff for the ultimate decision.

“Personally, I am humbled to have been chosen as the grand prize winner,” Bass said in an e-mail interview.

Julianna Bass

“It is such an honor to have the votes of so many to get me into the top 10 and have a celebrity designer, whom I respect so much, choose my design for the win and compliment it so!”

A press release from noted that “Bass’s design also won the popular vote online.

“Of the more than 135,000 votes submitted during the public voting phase, Bass’s design stood out as the clear frontrunner from the beginning.”

As winner, Bass will receive $10,000 and a trip for two to Nashville Sept. 20 to see Taylor Swift in concert.

Most importantly, her design will be emblazoned on T-shirts to be sold at all Target stores nationwide beginning this Sunday, Sept. 1.

“I will be able to create part of my Fall 2014 collection with the prize money, and I will then be showing it in January of 2014,” Bass said.

“It is also a huge step in any designer’s career to be featured at Target in any capacity, and this will do wonders for the promotion of my line/brand.”

Bass’s design shows a model wearing a grey-and-black-striped shirt and a red mermaid skirt flared at the knees. She is resting her hand on the “C” in “Coke.”

Click on Bass’ T-shirt design above to learn more about it.

In her contest description, Bass writes, “The inspiration for my design was centered around trust. … We can count on Diet Coke to make us feel and look great! It tastes divine. It’s undoubtedly refreshing, oh so chic, and causes absolutely no caloric anxiety!

“We trust you, Diet Coke. We count on you. We lean on you. And you deliver every single time!”

Bass, a native of Pulaski, Tenn., moved to New York to enter The Fashion Institute of Technology after graduating from MTSU. She specialized in eveningwear and was named 2004 Designer of the Year in her class.

Following an internship with designer Marc Jacobs, Bass honed her talent as an employee of several designers in the Garment District, including Bill Blass and Elie Tahari, before establishing her own fashion line for the first time in 2008.

Celebrities including Paula Abdul and Eva Longoria have worn Bass’s fashions, and she has received accolades from numerous publications, including Vogue, Lucky, Women’s Wear Daily, New York Magazine, Daily Candy, OK Magazine and Racked.

— Gina K. Logue (