Junior Designers

Jiaqi Chen, Jiawen Shi, 

and Wendy Liu

Jiaqi Chen
Tell us about your experience:
The model I was assigned to in the Disability Project was Hope. She had arthritis and an anxiety disorder. After communication, her design ideas are mainly red, white, and warm. She wants to express power, survival, and hope. At the same time, she wants to sign all people who support this project on her clothes. When designing the shoulders, I added shoulder pads to make them look stronger. Taking into account Hope's figure, comfort, easy walking, and movement I used high waist and straight styles in jackets and pants, no more than wrists and ankles. Thin white cashmere fabric is used for overall warmth. The silk on the left chest was printed with a silk red scarf (signature of all supporters) and if Hope felt cold, she could remove it and use it as a scarf. In the lower right corner of the coat, embroidery was used. A red "SURVIVAL" was written to emphasize the hope that Hope wanted to express.
Jiawen Shi
Tell us about your experience:
“From bottom to top, survival with hope” this is the message from Hope who is our model who tried to share with other people. Women are like flowers, which are fragile but also can be strong, and which is grown by an unimpressive seed to a beautiful one. Women’s transformation is like a dark rose transfer to a bright red rose by burning. Hope wants the design of what Lady Gaga dresses on white. Because of her personal condition, she wants her suit to be thermal. Also, she wants her garment to be more practical so she can wear it in daily life. Her main colors are white and red, the white means purity and red means power, strength and love. She likes to use those two to represent women. The mission we received from Hope is she would like us to collect signatures from people who are supporting the disability program, and put those signatures in our design. After her story, I named my design “survival woman”. To be a fashion designer is not just designing a pretty dress or cool pants, more important thing for a designer is sharing the voice from your clients to other people. Hope, our model, wants to share her strength with all women and show that nothing can  break a woman down.
Wendy Liu
Tell us about your experience:
It was a fun experience to be able to work as an actual designer, listen to my model’s needs, bring the whole concept  together, and put it into the design. My model, who prefers to be called Hope, has PTSD. She has a lot of amazing ideas in her head and she wanted for her design. She wants something that makes her feel stronger and confident to combat her disability. In the design, I chose a white suit, based on Hope’s preference of the outfit, with a red high neck wool sweater inside to match. To Hope, she believes red equals life and white equals the soul, and when they match it becomes a human being. Through this opportunity, Hope would like to show her support to the disability project by having the people who support this project  sign the design. I incorporated this into the top suit. The inspiration is from Natalie Portman when she wears her Dior cape embroidered with the name of female directors. After all, the whole experience was very exciting because I get to know how it feels to work as an actual designer. I learned that in order to get both the designer’s and model’s idea into the design does take a lot of commutation to make it perfect. My idea was like popcorn. It keeps coming out! My model Hope was a really nice lady; she’s a strong woman. Even though she is struggling with her panic attacks, she is still willing to be part of this project and support it. I’m also thankful to my teammates that we worked this out together and they are really nice ladies. Overall I enjoyed it a lot.
Meet the Model: 
Tell us about your experience:

Hope has modeled for the SFSU fashion show three years in a row to challenge the status quo of fashion in society. With a strong sense of social justice, she believes that we all have the moral responsibility to create an inclusive society by each making micro changes. Hope is 56 with degenerative arthritis and PTSD, and she often speaks in educational settings about the destructive impact of stigma and discrimination against individuals with disability. Her needs are not met by the standard fashion industry; she says that for the last two years, her junior designers have been able to accommodate her disability in their designs, but unfortunately with COVID-19, her garments will not be finalized due to lack of fittings. Nevertheless, Hope is determined to share her thoughts around inclusivity in the apparel industry.  She looks forward to next year, where she hopes that the disability models will be able to speak directly to the audience about the positive impact that this event has on their self-esteem. Hope gives special thanks to her disability specialist counselor Mrs. Maisson Algethy for giving her the opportunity to participate in these fashion shows.

"This is a baby step. Without any doubt, more needs to be done in order to break down the barrier against individuals with disabilities to create an inclusive and adaptive fashion industry. A good example of this work is the creation of more fashion events with individuals with disability and publicity at the macro level.”