Fashion’s Future – WWD

Jens Kaeumle, Chair of the School of Fashion at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), describes the Class of 2022 as “the future of the fashion industry.” Indeed, this cohort of graduates presented themes this year that were relevant, centering on inclusivity, diversity, gender neutrality, adaptive design, sustainability, and smart apparel and digital innovation.

“Our students’ energy and interests were limitless, and their skills and professionalism will lead them to be the creators of a bright future for fashion and design industries,” Kaeumle said. “Friendships were forged that will last a lifetime. Our students collaborated, connected, and proved to the world that teamwork with a smile can move mountains. We are proud of their creative accomplishments and goals they achieved. Not only on the catwalk did the talent of our fashion design students shine, but now through successful launches of their professional careers.”

And it is a bright future with leading brands.

Kaeumle said Nike, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Gap, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Tommy Hilfiger, Anthropologie, and many more “were companies delighted to snap up our SCAD School of Fashion design talent.”

Here, Fairchild Studio spotlights three students from the Class of 2022, whose inspirations, designs, and collections reflect why SCAD is an industry leader and a top choice among fashion students.

Name: Sofia Arante (BFA, fashion, 2022)

Age: 22

Hometown: Manila, Philippines

Sofia Arante

Fairchild Studio: What were some of the inspirations, concepts, or other factors that influenced your thesis work?

SA: “To be Childlike,” the title of my senior collection, was derived from my personal experience through the pandemic. Being in a situation of uncertainty caused me to have a sense of urgency but through the encouragement of my SCAD professors, I channeled that energy into my designs and was able to connect with my emotions through art – discovering that my place of comfort, my childlike soul. To be childlike is to be simply: fearless, spontaneous, curious, imaginative, generous, and enthusiastic. I realized that it was not about how fast I could achieve my hopes and dreams, but how I could enjoy the process of accomplishing them along the way.

SCAD Savannah – Spring 2022 – Fashion Show – Runway Coverage – Key Looks – Designer: Sofia Arante – Philippines – Model: Rebecca Zaizay – SCAD Museum of Art – Photography Courtesy of SCAD

Fairchild Studio: How would you describe your experience at SCAD? What shaped your learning?

SA: My experience at SCAD was a dream come true. I knew at a young age I wanted to pursue fashion design, and when I discovered SCAD, I knew it would be the perfect university to hone my talents and skills and best prepare me for a successful career. With the fashion industry being competitive, SCAD and my professors made me realize that it is my passion that can lead me to greater heights. It was also exhilarating to be surrounded by the most talented and driven students – not just in the School of Fashion, but in other degree programs. SCAD instills a culture of collaboration and to share the same passion for fashion, art and design with my peers was the highlight of my college experience. Coming to SCAD from the Philippines, I was exposed to new cultures , experiences, and ideas which molded my vision as a designer today. With the guidance of the most talented and successful fashion professors in SCAD, I was able to turn my dreams into reality.

Fairchild Studio: What are your career plans from here?

SA: I recently moved to Philadelphia and got a full-time job as an assistant designer at Anthropologie for Maeve, focusing on their soft woven dresses, skirts, sets, and blouses. I couldn’t be happier, and I am so excited about what is ahead of me!

Name: Ja’Baris Baskerville (MFA, fashion, 2022)

Age: 34

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Fashion's Future

Ja’Baris Baskerville

Fairchild Studio: What were some of the inspirations, concepts, or other factors that influenced your thesis work?

JB: As a menswear designer, I am always seeking original and innovative ways to design for the prospect of fashion. My design aesthetic focuses on the idea of ​​luxury streetwear meets couture as it correlates with retro-futurism. Highlighting classic strong shapes with a modern, 1980s retro-inspired appeal. Embracing unique silhouettes and innovative design elements including elastic geometric contours, exaggerated shoulders, strong construction, 3D tailoring skills and creative fabric manipulations. My collection specializes in menswear design with a focus on gender fluidity.

I design clothes that are full of personality and individuality, which is essential to stand out from the competition. Embracing confidence, empowerment, and happiness. For me, fashion is a form of imagination and self-expression. Throughout my journey as an emerging fashion designer I have achieved an extraordinary ability to discover and mature as it relates to shaping my design perspective and identity.

The inspiration behind my SCAD senior collection is based on my personal views and meaning of what it means to pursue happiness. While embracing references from the Japanese philosophy “wabi sabi” which means “beauty of imperfection,” I wanted to create a collection that embraces finding inner peace in the present moment and appreciating the transitions of life, to freely pursue joy and to live in a way that makes me happy.

SCAD Savannah – Spring 2022 – Fashion Show – Runway Coverage – Key Looks – Designer: Ja'Baris Baskerville – Atlanta, GA – Model: Shiloh Smith – SCAD Museum of Art – Photography Courtesy of SCAD

Fairchild Studio: How would you describe your experience at SCAD? What shaped your learning?

JB: My experience at SCAD has been life-changing and inspiring to say the least. I knew SCAD was one of the top arts and design universities, but the moment I stepped on campus for my initial open house tour, I was overcome with inspiration and knew this was the place for me. SCAD is a great environment for creatives to unleash their imaginations and explore the myriad possibilities offered.

I began my MFA studies at SCAD in 2018 where I have studied a wide array of courses that have established a strong knowledge of art fundamentals, proficient sewing technical skills, including product development, draping, and patternmaking. Throughout my journey as a graduate student, it was the guidance of and mentorship of my SCAD professors and authentic constructive criticism that helped pave the way for my self-discovery as it pertained to understanding my design aesthetic and point-of-view as a fashion designer.

Concentrating on menswear concept design is where I found my voice. When I started to understand my strengths as a designer, I began focusing on becoming more proficient with pattern making and expanded my skills by studying several facets of design including evening wear and denim wear. These developments have helped to take my design aesthetic to the next level as I focus on merging the two to create a more contemporary perspective on the world of denim and the myriad possibilities in the world of tailoring.

Fairchild Studio: What are your career plans from here?

JB: I now have an incredible design internship at Michael Kors, where I am exposed to first-hand experience with a team of senior designers and I’m expanding my knowledge of the industry and as a creative professional. I have dreams of launching a gender fluid luxury streetwear brand and design studio, and establish a fashion consulting firm focused on design, forecasting, photography, and styling.

Name: D’on Lauren Edwards (BFA, fashion, 2022)

Age: 22

Hometown: Portland, OR

Fashion's Future

D’on Lauren Edwards

Hadley Stambaugh

Fairchild Studio: What were some of the inspirations, concepts, or other factors that influenced your thesis work?

DLE: My SCAD senior thesis collection titled “The Messenger” is an evening wear collection inspired by my great grandmother, Joyce. She was a biracial woman, raised by immigrant parents from Senegal and Ireland during the 1930s and 1940s. She moved across the country to Los Angeles Angeles after she married and had children and was a woman of courage, strength, and gentleness – she and I even share the same birthday. As a young girl, she instilled in me faith and Catholicism practices and the belief of angels. My grandmother unfortunately passed away 4 years ago but I still believe that her presence is near me- guiding and protecting me through life.

From my belief and interest in astrology, I discovered there are angels for each of the 12 zodiac signs. Inspired by a spiritual being serving as a divine messenger, the Angel of Aries, Machidiel, brings courage and renewal of the soul for those who fall under the sun signs of Aries. This collection captures the power and influence of angels while illuminating the childlike, impulsive, and dynamic cardinal fire sign.

My collection features a delicately soft color palette that symbolizes a gentler message of the dynamic color that represents Aries, while embracing the hues of fire flames. This soft color palette also symbolizes the beauty, harmony and calming energies of the Aries birthstones, diamond and aquamarine . My gowns designed with high necklines and soft long drapes is a nod to traditional Catholic vestments, but re-envisioned for modernity, with sultry cuts and crystalline fabric manipulations and embroideries.

SCAD Savannah – Spring 2022 – Fashion Show – Runway Coverage – Key Looks – Designer: D’on Lauren Edwards – Beaverton, OR – Model: Grace Foster – SCAD Museum of Art – Photography Courtesy of SCAD

Fairchild Studio: How would you describe your experience at SCAD? What shaped your learning?

DLE: My experience at SCAD was very awe inspiring, rich with opportunity and endless inspiration. I am a naturally curious person and have always been interested in discovering new facets and elements within design. While I was at SCAD, I took many classes and workshops from eveningwear , accessory design, jewelry, and knitwear that opened my eyes to the different niches that are in design. I discovered passions that I could see myself pursuing while being in the industry. My learning was shaped by exploring parts of the country and the world. Studying in Savannah was very different culturally from living on the west coast. I am so grateful that through the opportunities afforded to me at SCAD, I was able to study abroad at two international locations with unforgettable and enriching experiences in Hong Kong and Lacoste, France . Those experiences I will hold with me forever and will continue to shape me as a designer.

Fairchild Studio: What are your career plans from here?

DLE: I have recently moved to New York and am currently working at Camuto Group as an assistant footwear and accessory designer. I am so grateful for this opportunity and aim to continue to develop and refine my design skills within all areas of the industry from fashion, footwear , and accessories.

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