Junior Designers 
Thomas Soriano & Esteban Almanza
Thomas Soriano
Tell us about your experience:

My experience working on a garment for the disabled has nourished and enriched my mind and given me a sneak peek of the fashion industry. This project has widened my perspective on how hard it is to close in on one idea out of many designs, ideas, and aesthetics. My model has an eye impairment disability, her eyes are very sensitive to light and it is hard for her to see far away. It was a challenge to figure out how to help with her disability with strictly apparel. However, I was able to come up with an idea that I believe would help keep the sun out of her eyes and still look fashionable. The concept was derived from sun hats, fishing hats, and baseball caps combined. A hybrid of all three. I also wanted to keep the color of the hat a lighter color and material so it doesn’t absorb the heat from the sun. It feels very gratifying that I was able to design a garment for someone other than myself and am very grateful to have been able to be a part of this event. It has made me more creative and excited to start my career in this industry. 

Tell us about your experience:

For this year’s disability project, my partner Tom and I will be conducting an apparel design revolving around our model, Cathy Kudlick. Her disability involves a vision impairment, preventing her from seeing items far away, as well as seeing bright lights. In terms of the design that was asked for, Cathy has offered my partner and I the ability to put forth our creative ideals and create anything that we might like for her. As for the product development involved in this project, we are planning to construct a headwear garment that would allow Cathy to benefit in uncomfortable visual situations. Essentially, the design concept would involve a headwear piece similar to a hat or hoodie, covering a good portion above her eyes enough for her to visually see normal. Although many designs are being discussed, the garment constructed needs to be both practical and comfortable for our model Cathy.

Esteban Almanza