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April 23, 2024

From original idea to wearable design

Each spring, fashion students in the JCCC Fashion Merchandising & Design program watch as models strut their stuff on the runway. Quite literally THEIR stuff – the models are wearing designs created and sewn by the fashion students themselves. The students even choose the music to soundtrack the presentation of their collections.

This year’s show, “Off the Cuff,” featured the work of 11 student designers. Their works span a variety of influences, from pop culture and science fiction to religious symbolism and architecture. Here are a few of their thoughts on the collection, fashion design, and their JCCC experience.


Where did you get your inspiration for your collection?

“Standing at 5’1” and embracing the hijab, I recognize the void in the market for garments that blend modesty with contemporary aesthetics. Drawing inspiration from modern architecture’s curves, I designed a collection characterized by fresh colors and timeless appeal, offering consumers the freedom to express themselves while remaining stylishly modest.”  – Rola Atra

“A lot of my favorite books, movies, and TV shows take place during the medieval era and feature a strong female lead who must go into battle for one reason or another. I decided to imagine how that character trope might dress in the modern day. I describe the concept for my collection as ‘a princess riding into battle, but in 2024.’” – Katelyne Kratofil

“I’m particularly fascinated by the combination of religious symbolism with darker themes, which I believe enriches storytelling. My collection was inspired by religion, and specifically a nun’s attire.” – Giovani Agustin

“The last four years have been mentally draining on myself/society, and over the summer I had a revelation about happiness and how I really have not tried to prioritize it within myself in years. The way I interpreted that within my collection concept is a ‘happy apocalypse.’” – Harmony Woods


How did you get into fashion design?

“My interest in fashion all started one day when my mother decided she wanted to make a sequined bodysuit. Of course, as her child, I was obligated to help her. At first, I was skeptical that we could make it look halfway decent as neither of us knew anything about patterns or sewing! Much to our surprise, it turned out pretty good. Since that day seven years ago, I have gained the confidence to make my own patterns and garments.” – Eunice McCallop

“I'm Hispanic and bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English. Growing up I participated in modeling competitions, and this was the beginning of my love for fashion; I love everything about it!” – Desiree Alcantara

“I started to draw full collections on printer paper at the age of 5 and told everyone I wanted to be a designer when I grew up. I’m glad I’m studying fashion now, but I’m still working out what I want to do as a career choice. To further my education, I’ve set my sights on going to FIT or Parsons School of Design in NYC and won’t stop until I meet that goal.” – Nene Bailey

“Despite initially pursuing a different degree in college, I redirected my focus to fashion. The transition away from home life enabled more creative expression, leading me to pivot my academic focus towards a field that has resonated with me since childhood.” – Meg Kiser

What will you miss most about JCCC?

“I will miss my wonderful teachers who were incredibly supportive and made sure to help me even when I refused to ask for it.”– Leah Lissauer

“The structure and deadlines. I need someone to crack the whip on me. I will also miss all the amazing teachers and their knowledge and encouragement!”– Calley Saye

“What I’m going to miss most is my friends and the sense of community you can feel within the fashion program.” – Mavis Spearman

Want to bring your own designs to life?

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the fashion industry, the JCCC Fashion Merchandising & Design curriculum prepares you for a career in retail management, retail sales, apparel design, illustration, or market representative positions. You can find all the program details here!