San Antonio teen in finals of Duck Tape competition with groovy tux

Nathan Elias has been accepted to the University of the Incarnate Word and plans to major in fashion merchandising

San Antonio's Nathan Elias is a Duck Tape duct-tape tux competition finalist for 2022. (Nathan Elias)

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio teen is feeling groovy about his chances to win a college scholarship from Duck Tape after making it to the final five in a tux-designing competition.

Nathan Elias has been accepted to the University of the Incarnate Word and plans to major in fashion merchandising.

The Memorial High School graduate has an obvious eye for design and fashion based on his duct tape creation.

Elias said he learned about the contest while searching for scholarship money.

“I grew up in a humble home and I have always been interested in fashion, specifically the design and construction aspect of it,” Elias said.

The Duck Tape Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest is a nationwide competition that has been around for 22 years and offers students a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize scholarship.

His entry pays homage to one of his favorite decades — the 70s.

“While growing up, my mom and dad would play awesome songs like ‘Heart Of Glass’ by Blondie or ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA and also ‘Boogie Wonderland’ by Earth Wind & Fire,” Elias said.

It took Elias 35 hours and 20 rolls of duct tape to complete his tux, which features a purple jacket with a neon-striped lapel and yellow bell-bottom pants decorated with flowers and fringes on the side.

“A groovy tuxedo fit for Tony Manero himself,” Elias said, referencing the character played by John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Staying Alive.”

“The back of the tux is inspired by a button-down that I thrifted with my mom and dad,” Elias said.

He even accessorized his look with a backpack and duct-tape-covered boots.

Elias isn’t the only local student in the finals. Kaleb Burch from New Braunfels is also hoping for a win. You can read about his project here.

People can vote online for one dress and one tux every 24 hours until voting closes on July 13.

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.