Meet Karla Torres, the newest winner of the Duck Brand’s annual Stuck at Prom contest. 

The Los Angeles teen made a prom dress entirely out of duct tape for this nationwide contest, challenging high school students to transform duct tape into lavish fashion pieces. The color, craftsmanship, originality and accessories are all evaluated as part of the judging criteria.

After several days of voting, the 18-year-old, first-generation Latina was crowned the grand prize winner of $10,000 in scholarship money.

“With so many talented teens entering this year’s contest, the competition was high, but Karla really exemplified how an ordinary material, like Duck Tape, can be transformed into artful attire,” said Ashley Luke, senior product manager of Duck Brand’s parent company.


I have entered the Stuck at Prom Contest! This dress is inspired by 18th-century French art that I saw at the Getty Museum. I was captivated by the amount of gold and extravagant paintings they had on display. It was a time period of luxurious gowns full of lace, floral prints, ribbons, and ruffles. So I wanted to incorporate some of these elements into my dress. Everything is made out of duct tape!! #stuckatprom2023 #duckbrand #ducttape #ducttapedress #rococo #fashion #fashiontiktok #gettymuseum

♬ Sway (Sped Up Version) – Michael Bublé

Torres dedicated 120 hours and 14 rolls of tape to make this dress

She said 18th-century French art inspired her creativity for the dress.

“I am fascinated by clothes and how [they] have evolved through the course of history,” she shared on the Duck Brand website.

Torres made the pink and white pastel gown with highlighting pops of gold. She added a custom duct-tape choker necklace, a handheld fan and clutch to accessorize.

She said making this dress was a team effort because her mom helped her.

“We’ve never made a dress, much less out of duct tape,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “We didn’t know how much duct tape we needed. It’s such a random thing … we were just doing it by trial and error.”

Adding, “Tape is so rigid and you can’t move it like fabric. It was really challenging making it all come together.”

She shared her dress-making process on TikTok, garnering thousands of views

Torres spent days on social media, especially on TikTok, trying to spread the word about voting for her dress. She even tried on her grown during one of her videos to show off her masterpiece.


Vote Karla T. every 24hrs at Stuck at! I hope someone recognizes this audio!! This dress is something I see George would make. #fyp #paradisekiss #aiyazawa #paradisekissmanga #anime #stuckatprom2023 #ducttape #fashion

♬ Lonely in Gorgeous – Tommy february6

Her parents helped the teen spread the word too. She said they told their friends and extended family about the contest.


I’m so grateful to be given these opportunities! My family has been my biggest support throughout this process!! Todo es posible 🇲🇽🇺🇸#CapCut #stuckatprom2023 #ducttape #ducttapedress #latimes #estrellatv #abc7

♬ original sound – Karla

“Her mind-blowing dress went viral on social media, leading to her garnering the most online votes in the competition,” Duck Brand said.

She will use the $10,000 prize toward college tuition

Torres will be the first in her family to attend college. This fall, she’ll be a freshman at California State University, Fullerton. She plans to study business marketing with a focus in fashion.

For now, she’s looking forward to seeing her dress displayed at the Duct Tape national headquarters in Ohio.

“My dress is going to be all the way across the country,” Torres said. “It’s a national contest. … Being selected as the only Californian, and more specifically even [from] Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, it’s really cool.”

Congratulations Karla, we’re so inspired by your creativity!