Teen’s Powerful Design Wins Tux Couture Women's Art Contest

Image Will Be Printed on Silk Scarves, Perfect for Holiday Gift-Giving


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Jordan Lacenski
SheWolf Collaborative


Even from a very young age, Jenna Bellonby never wanted to fit into the mold of what a “normal” girl was supposed to be.

“I’ve always been a person to stay away from that at all costs,” the 18-year-old said recently.

When her mom gave her a camera at age 14, she found an outlet for that drive. She began shooting stunning, stylized portraits of women, always in empowering positions, unlike what she was seeing in mainstream culture.

Now, the headstrong teen from Cincinnati has won a nationwide contest hosted by Tux Couture, a company that creates tailor-made tuxedos for women.

Her powerful design showing the strength and beauty of the female body will be printed on Tux Couture's beautiful silk scarves, which are available for purchase now, just in time for holiday gift-giving.

Jenna Bellonby's piece, "We are Women," will be printed on 42-inch Tux Couture scarves.

Jenna Bellonby's piece, "We are Women," will be printed on 42-inch Tux Couture scarves.

Designer Yansi Fugel, the owner of Tux Couture, based in Franklin Lakes, N.J., developed the contest as a way to give back to women in the arts and support a budding artist. Five percent of proceeds from sales will go to Bellonby. The rest will be donated to WomenArts, a non-profit helping women artists get the resources they need.

Fugel’s own interest in the arts started in her high school art studio, where she was inspired by her teacher Sandra Brigouri, and then continued in the merchandising industry under the mentorship of Vana Longwell. Fuget went on to found her own apparel company, which she has been running for almost 30 years.

"I am so grateful for the women who were pivotal in helping me get started in the arts," Fugel said. "I want to continue to pay it forward and encourage new artists to go out and forge their own paths."

At Fugel's apparel company, she focuses on dressing women so they feel confident. She knows well-designed clothes can be empowering.

Her latest venture, Tux Couture, launched two years ago with a line of impeccably designed tuxedos made specifically for women. Fugel’s clients were requesting something formal, but classically cool to add to their wardrobes. A tuxedo seemed like the perfect solution.

“Our tuxedos convey confidence and power without losing femininity,” Fugel said. “These garments are designed to last, a legacy to pass on to our daughters not only in the tuxedo itself but also in our perspective on how clothes should serve us as women.”

This fall, 40 artists from across the country entered Tux Couture’s contest. The company chose four finalists and then fans voted for their favorite. 

Bellonby said she designed her piece, titled "We are Women," to show the power of the female body and the power women have when they join together.

Jenna Bellonby's self-portrait

Jenna Bellonby's self-portrait

She was pleased to learn she won the contest and that she will get the chance to see her own design printed on a garment people will wear.

“To get to take this step at such a young age, I’m ecstatic,” she said.

She plans to attend college — she’s started looking for scholarships — and to continue to pursue her art.

“I am going to see how far I can take this,” she said. “It is my full intention to never stop.”

The scarves can be purchased on the Tux Couture website at tux-couture.com/shop. Learn more about Bellonby's art at her website jennabellonby.com/portfolio.


About Yansi Fugel

Fugel is passionate about the artistic process and the emotional importance of craft. She loves thinking and visualizing something and then getting the chance to bring it to life. For the past 28 years, Fugel has run her own apparel company and brand, which focuses on dressing women for work and play with easy-care fabrics that don’t wrinkle and travel well. Her latest concept is a line of impeccably detailed tuxedos made specifically for women. The tuxedos, designed to be worn with or without a shirt under the jacket, are an empowering alternative to the little black dress or the plain black suit. Learn more at tuxcouture.com.

Jordan Lacenski