This year’s Supima annual meeting was not your father’s fuddy-duddy Oldsmobile event. Instead, professional models strutted down a fashion runway decked out in the latest clothing designs showcasing American Pima cotton.

The Pima clothing fashion video was included in a PowerPoint presentation shared by Supima’s marketing and promotions Vice-President Buxton Midyette. The video highlighted how Pima cotton fashions were a tremendous success during the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week held in New York City.

This event illustrates how Supima has crafted its marketing wizardry to successfully promote American Pima cotton directly through clothing brands and retailers. These companies, who become Supima licensees, agree to use 100-percent American Pima cotton, exclusively, in clothing and home fashion products.

Supima, based in Phoenix, Ariz., is the non-profit promotional organization of American Pima cotton growers which started in 1954.

About 95 percent of American Pima cotton is grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The balance is grown in West Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

For more on cotton, see: Cotton fire rages as round bales burn in gin yard — photos

Pima cotton, gossypium barbadense, is a generic name for extra-long staple cotton grown in the U.S., Australia, Peru, and a few other locations around the world. According to the Supima website, Pima cotton has a minimum staple length of 1 and 3/8 inches which is longer than Upland cotton, a stronger fiber, and increased fiber fineness.

Supima launched its brand-retailer program about five years ago. It will continue as the cornerstone of Pima cotton promotion in the future.

Jesse Curlee, Supima president and chief executive officer, says the clothing brand-retailer licensee agreement expands American Pima cotton sales. The relationship benefits all parties and sells more Pima fiber than promotional dollars alone ever could.

Since the program’s launch, Supima now partners with dozens of retailers around the world including Brooks Brothers, Bloomingdales, Marks and Spencer, Lands’ End, and Uniglo.

Brooks Brothers placed the Supima name on signage and Pima clothing in all of its store window displays during March in stores in the U.S., Canada, China, and Japan. Brooks Brothers is expanding the promotion to stores in other countries and in its online catalogue.

Lands’ End boasts Pima information in an advertisement which reads “3 percent of cotton grown in the U.S. qualities as Supima,” and, “77,933 feet of silky Supima cotton yarns in just one No Iron Pinpoint Shirt.”

“There is no way we could do buy this kind of publicity,” Curlee said in Coalinga, Calif., during Supima’s 58th annual meeting.