Junior Designers 
Chelsea Mendoza & Evelin Arias
Tell us about your experience:
Regarding the collaboration between the ADM program and the DPRC program, I consider it an incredible idea. I believes that it challenges the “norms” of the industry as well as shining light on the necessity of representation. The amount of individuals who need representation is endless and I understand that this project is just one form of attempt to relieve this certain issue. Before the shutdown, I was able to meet the model I would be designing the outfit for. Before meeting my model, Juthaporn, I was nervous, but I came to find that Juthaporn was an admirable individual and our conversation went better than what I had hoped for. I appreciated that Juthaporn was understanding of our creative freedom and was open to any interpretation we had for her. Not only was she receptive to our ideas, but she was open and transparent with who she was and what she wanted. I felt a mutual respect whilst speaking with her and she hates to think that this situation has kept my co-designer and me from continuing to see Juthaporn in person.
Chelsea Mendoza

Thoughts on Representation in the Fashion Industry:

I have always felt that representation is important to the industry, especially with my family history. I have noticed that with society’s extensive use of social media and digitalized platforms for the industry, the industry is beginning to catch up with such ideals. However, I believe we need more transparency so that we understand who provided the material for our designers and consumers, who manufactures for us, how long the clothing will last, and how it will eventually affect the planet. Although I am proud to see more involvement for differing body types and skin tones, I think it is safe to say we should see more of an effort to safely develop our ideas, for both the people and our planet.

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Garment Inspiration:

Under the unfortunate circumstances, I was still able to create some designs for my model. My designs were inspired by Juthaporn’s resiliency. My model had a tumultuous past and has recovered tremendously. If there was one thing I wanted to celebrate while designing for Juthaporn, it would be her strength and beauty as an individual, In my eyes, I viewed her as a warrior – she carried an attitude so fierce that I was truly intimidated at first, but the more I spoke with her I started to realize her strength had been a result of her vulnerability. Because of that, I also wanted to add delicate features, something that would make her feel empowered yet feminine at the same time.

Tell us about your experience: 

Evelin believes the collaboration between the ADM program and the DPRC program is amazing. She thinks it is great to be able to work with people whose stories usually do not get heard in the mainstream. She appreciates that she and others are given a platform to not only showcase their work, but also to give these groups of students an opportunity to show off their talent. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 shutdown, Evelin and her co-designer were able to meet with their model, Juthaporn only once to take some measurements, but even in the one-time brief meeting, she described the model as a very nice person who was open to their ideas. Juthaporn showed confidence in their ability to create something amazing which made the experience great and enjoyable.

Evelin Arias

Thoughts on Representation in the Fashion Industry: 

When it comes to representation in the industry, Evelin believes that representation is absolutely important in every industry and not just fashion. Her thoughts on the issue: “Currently, the industry really lacks diversity in every aspect. We only typically see white, tall, very thin models walk the runways; they are meant to be a representation of our society but as we all know, our society has more variety than that. In that aspect, I would like the models to be of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds and hopefully steer away from the Eurocentric perspective that we have been seeing since the very beginning. I would also like the industry to showcase the work of designers of color more. We usually only see white designers get all the media attention and it would be nice if that light is cast on other designers for a change. This would hopefully allow them to be more well-known and once again, push for more diversity in the industry.

Garment Inspiration: 

I created 3 sketches because I wanted my model to get 3 different ideas of what I was thinking in terms of design. Two out of three designs were inspired by the Juthaporn’s Thai roots. I wanted to create something that was a mix of traditional and contemporary clothing. My last design was inspired by the model’s story. Juthaporn shared some of the struggles she had to face in her life and what she had to do to overcome them, so my last design was a dedication to her and meant to showcase what a strong woman my model is.

Meet the Model:
Juthaporn Chaloeicheep

Tell us about your experience:

Juthaporn Chaloeicheep is originally from Bangkok, Thailand. She is a mother of six boys, with the oldest about to graduate from college. She herself is getting ready to graduate from San Francisco State University with a degree in Liberal Studies and could not be more excited. Juthaporn was very open about her past struggles that involved addiction and homelessness, which she overcame to pursue her goal of finishing college and getting a degree. She shared that she loves to sing, plays volleyball, and used to play discus for SF State. She is a Dress for Success Ambassador and is very involved with DPRC. Juthaporn has an amazing and inspiring outlook on life. When asked about the shutdown she simply said that sometimes we need to have something like this to bring unity and humanity. She is also doing the things she has always wanted to do and she encourages others to do the same. She wants others to fulfill those long-time dreams, those things that nag you and want to do before you can’t anymore. She will let you know that if an opportunity knocks, open it, because you never know what could happen.

“It’s not just about designing, I think for me it’s more about the transformation.”

Being be a part of Dress for Success, she is able to witness first-hand, the transformation one gets and how happy that makes them feel which made her feel a particular way about this design project, What she was most curious about, was to see how the fashion industry would cater to the “undesirable” or the kind of people that most others forget about. She was intrigued and fascinated that the Apparel and Design program at SF State was willing to even give the disabled the attention they all truly deserve. She wanted to participate and see how fashion could involve this certain group of people, “It’s really great that San Francisco State recognizes these populations of people that nobody else wants to recognize and in a forum where no matter what, you have to clap for them, you’re making the people there the audience. You have to applaud not because of the way they look, but because the student did it to other students.”

Juthaporn was very excited for the opportunity to walk down the runway. DPRC had mentioned the runway show to her and she figured, why not try it out, since this is her last semester. She was ready to strut on the runway, but unfortunately, due to the shutdown, the runway show plans had to change. Before the shutdown, she was able to meet up with her design team Chelsea and Evelin and had an overall positive time with them. They were open enough to listen to what she wanted in the garment that was being created for her. Juthaporn was looking forward to the design for not just herself, but for everyone included in this project.

“If you were ever in love with somebody and they don’t know it, you better tell em!”

What she hopes to see one day is a clothing line dedicated to the disabled. She points out that functionality and fit of a garment are not the only issues with the disabled and apparel, but that finance is an issue as well. Some disabled people have to get their clothing tailored, which can easily amount to a lot of unnecessary spending.  Juthaporn has an amazing and awe-inspiring take on life. It’s simple, yet motivational. She is a friendly and open woman who knows what she wants and is going to try to get it no matter what, and she encourages that we all forge our own unforgettable life experience.

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