Fashion Design ’12
Where are you from?
Originally from New Jersey, but was raised in Ocala, Florida, where I attended West Port High School.
What brought you to Pratt?
New York City is one of the world's fashion capitals; coming from a small town I felt I needed this exposure and inspiration.
Why did you choose fashion design as your major?
I'm attracted to personal style. I've always been conscious of what I wear on a daily basis, and what others wear. In high school I had notebooks meant for note taking that were filled with sketches of sneakers and jackets and pants and suits, so when it came time to choose my career path, fashion design seemed like the obvious choice.
I’m also addicted to its process. I love to brainstorm and come up with new ideas and interesting details. I enjoy the technicality of patterning, the mathematical part of drafting each piece, and figuring out how the pieces will fit together; it’s almost like being an architect. Then, finally putting those pieces together and seeing your vision come to life.
Also, what makes it fascinating as an art form is the way you have to pay attention to many different aspects of design: color, texture, construction, practicality, function, even human anatomy and kinetics comes into play.
You won first prize ($5,000) in this year’s sportswear design competition sponsored by the Importer Support Program of The Cotton Board and managed by Cotton Incorporated. How did that feel?
Obviously, it’s an accomplishment that I’m very proud of. My classmates and I worked really hard all semester for the competition, and everyone should feel really proud.
Tell us about your winning design.
I took inspiration from classic American sportswear, and college athletics, specifically a vintage baseball feel. My concept allowed me to mix different textures and patterns to create a rich feel. I tried to garner interest in each piece by adding different elements, such as the quilted yokes, felt varsity letter, embroidered elbow patches, and my choices for lining fabrics and trims.
The collection took about 40 hours to construct, but was a work in progress over about 12 weeks from the initial design phase to completion. Working with cotton was really great; it's easy to source, and comes in almost any form imaginable. It's also one of the most pleasant fabrics to work with.
Who has influenced your work the most?
I don’t attribute my influence to a single person or source, but the person I admire most in the industry is Ralph Lauren. His story inspires me: He starting by making ties and built a multi-billion dollar company from the ground up. Ralph Lauren will never be dead.
Have you done any internships while you’ve been at Pratt?
Yes, I interned in fall 2009 at Alife NYC, a sneaker/streetwear brand based in the city.
For whom would you like to design something?
I would love to work with Band of Outsiders, or Rag & Bone.
What are your favorite tools?
My brain and my hands.
Photo: Jennifer Strader