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Since the age of seven, Ive drawn clothes I wished were real. Ive always been inspired by the lifestyle of girls and teens in a way that expands far beyond clothing. I grew up in Illinois sewing with my mom, doing crafts all day, and obsessing over clothes. I think it only comes naturally to me now to design juniors clothing. I want to give something brand new to the market for girls who are sick of the unoriginal brands. I definitely think the juniors and kids markets have gaps that need to be filled and I can't wait to show them what they've been missing.
Seoul, South Korea
Since I was young, the attraction of creating something from an idea was my biggest inspiration for studying fashion design. As I studied fashion, I grew to love it even more. I discovered my niche in children's wear. I absolutely adore children and I remember loving everything the ladies in my family used to dress me in. I grew up surrounded by a grandmother, five aunts, and my own mother, who indulged me constantly with countless dresses throughout my youth. They've had a huge influence on my path in children's wear. I love the classic, conservative, yet feminine aesthetic of my youthful clothes, and that aesthetic is reflected in my designs. Before, I just tried to design good-looking clothes, but now its more like what I want my future daughters to wear.
Brewster, New York
Coming to the Fashion Institute of Technology, all I knew was that I wanted to create and design. It was not until the last minute that I realized I wanted to become a children's wear designer. Not only is children's wear thriving in this recession, but also it has become a huge trend to dress your child extremely well. I want to change how people look at kids clothes. People still think that girls need tutus and boys need cargo pants. However, I think the mini me approach is the way to go. I like taking risks with my designs—whether its making a dress out of a fabric most would think too sophisticated or taking menswear pieces and shrinking them into boys sizes. I know this industry is tough, but I can't picture myself anywhere else but the fashion industry. Its where I belong.
Bronx, New York
I come from a family of designers. My dad is a graphic designer, my brother is a graphic designer, my sister is an interior designer, and my mom was a seamstress. I grew up around art and my grandparents were tailors. It is sort of in my DNA. What makes me unique is my unique design aesthetic.
I believe children should be children and that their clothes should wrap them in natural comfort and become a part of them, not detract from them. My collections employed metropolitan constructs of generous yet structured outerwear paired with soft and elastic tops and bottoms to limit restrictions. I use details and structure to add a touch of modernity but the colors and patterns follow the ways of nature. The current market for children's wear sees an abundance of prints and bright colors and places more weight on patterns than design. I want to reestablish vintage colors and patterns using eco-friendly and hypoallergenic, organic fabric and dye. As a designer, I want children to enjoy the innocence of sitting on swings in playgrounds instead of growing up too quickly. I want those who wear my clothes to be nurtured with a love for nature and to draw from its energy and creativity.
Poorum (Evalyn) Kim
Queens, New York
The main reason I wanted to become a fashion designer was to design clothing that I would want to wear. But as I grew older and spent time with children (I used to teach little kids at an academy), I wanted to design clothing for them. I am enjoying learning and expending my creativity here at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Cheonan, South Korea
I have been interested in art and fashion since I was very young. When I was a teenager, I enjoyed having my own unique style. Drawing fashion figures and designing was my passion. I was naturally drawn to the fashion field. As soon as I took classes and learned more, I was in love. I design happy clothing. I like clothing that's colorful, playful, comfortable, lovely, and tells a story. It might not be a wow piece, but it will definitely make you smile and brighten your day.
Bayside, New York
I have wanted to be a fashion designer since I was a little girl. Both my grandmother and grandfather worked as tailors in the fashion industry for more than 30 years. I grew up around them sewing. I was fascinated and wanted to learn about fashion. I started off designing clothes for my dolls with my grandparents, which sparked my love for children's clothing. In school, I could not wait to specialize in children's wear. I love designing both boys and girls clothing and accessories. My internships in the industry have only made me want to pursue this career even more.
New York, New York
Ive never really known why I designed. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw clothes on women and that has stayed with me until now. Besides fashion design, I love to draw. As a child, I watched cartoons and attempted to draw the women characters perfectly. I believe that designers should be true to themselves. Don't lead your life listening to what other people say or do. You have to find your own path or you will never truly be happy or satisfied. You could find yourself 15 years from now wondering Why am I here? Why am I doing what I'm doing? Does this truly make me happy? I also believe that it is okay to not know what you want to do, and you shouldn't be afraid to try new things. Don't get lost in the sea of people in this world.
Bronx, New York
When I was nine years old, I realized I had an interest in fashion. I read fashion magazines and watched runway shows on television, and dreamed of creating my own things. I learned to sew at age ten, and filled countless sketchbooks and papers with design drawings. In junior high school, I applied to the High School of Fashion Industries. I learned so much while I was there. Then I enrolled at FIT. I started off with women's wear, but then shifted to children's wear when I learned that my designs for women were better suited for juniors and children. Instead of fighting that, I embraced it, and I'm so glad I did. I am inspired by historical, vintage, and alternative fashions. I love looking at fashions from older eras and reinterpreting them for today. This is very fun in children's wear, because there are fewer restrictions on your creativity.
I discovered my interest in fashion design in my freshman year of high school. I attended a vocational school that had a fashion design concentration. I did exceptionally well and even placed first in a FCCLA New Jersey state competition for both my evening wear and sportswear designs. I also won first place in the FCCLA National competition held in Orlando my senior year. During my first semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I won a Robert Verdi Award, which included a certificate and sewing machine. My grades also exemplify my passion and growth as a future designer. After I had my son, I decided to specialize in the design of children's wear. He is my inspiration. With him in mind, I strive to excel in the world of children's fashion.
I have always loved art. It is a way of expressing oneself and bringing joy to the world. When I was younger, I constantly painted and sketched. I had great instructors who encouraged me to pursue art. It was not until high school that I learned that I could take those paintings and bring them to life. Fashion is inspirational because it makes the person wearing the clothes feel good and it allows the designer to reveal the art that was previously trapped in their head. I design because it makes me happy. I am forever inspired by the world around me. I am fascinated by mixing architectural and natural elements, creating a naturally androgynous state. Mixing femininity and masculinity can be the ultimate beauty.