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October 6, 2017

"Dress for success” takes on new meaning for two JCCC Apparel Design and Technology students whose collections are premiering at Kansas City Fashion Week this October.

Current students Rebekah Lux and Nguyet Nguyen have been selected as two of the 31 designers who will present their spring 2018 collections during Kansas City Fashion Week. Four JCCC graduates and one faculty member, Maria Behnen, also are showcasing their collections.  

Industry buyers and individual consumers from around the world converge on Kansas City Fashion Week, a seven-day event that kicks off with a garden party and ends with a runway show on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Union Station. KCFW features the collections of local, national and international designers.

Nguyen hopes her feminine and flowy line attracts attention with those in the fashion industry. “I’m really looking for exposure,” she said.

Lux, who is showing 10 outfits, said she hopes that making industry connections will help her achieve her goal of one day owning her own business.

Although both students have participated in JCCC’s fashion show, this is the first time these young designers will show their collections at such a high-profile industry event.

Networking is key

According to Joy Rhodes, Fashion Merchandising and Design department chair, this year’s seven participants are the most JCCC has had in the show during the five years the College has participated. “They’ve been very supportive of our students,” Rhodes said, “and although it’s not a mandatory activity, many students also participate in the show as volunteers behind the scenes to gain experience.”

Rhodes said students understand the opportunities that KC Fashion Week gives them to make connections in the industry. “Meeting people in this field is crucial to launching your line and getting started in the business,” she said.

Behnen emphasized how participating in the show helps students see possibilities for their future. “Inspiration, creativity and connection. Those are a few of the reasons students are participating. I want them to be creatively inspired by this show as they work to meet their personal goals.”

Passion for fashion

At one point, Nguyen was studying business but realized her heart just wasn’t in it, so she changed her major to fashion. “I wanted to follow my passion," she said. "Even though fashion is hard to break into, I will be much happier in this field.”

Lux is excited for her work to be seen during Fashion Week. “Preparation takes months. You start with making the patterns, then designing the prototypes and then finally, you create the designs,” she said.

Rachel Pollak, who graduated from JCCC last spring, is showing eight pieces from her colorful summertime collection. This young designer, who eventually wants to create custom designs, said her months of preparation will be worth it. “Once I see my designs on the runway, I know it will be worth all the hard work I’ve put into it,” she said. She added that being selected by the KC Fashion Week Council was a dream come true.

Career material

If you have a passion for fashion or a desire to design, check out courses that can help you sew up a career decision.