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Portfolio Profile: Children's Wear at DAAP

As requested by popular demand, I am going to start featuring a piece of my portfolio every Friday. There are so many amazing projects I've had the chance to work on throughout my career, but today I want to go all the way back to my very first Full Package design: from Ideation to Manufacturing.

The School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati is where I started my professional training as a Fashion Designer. Its programs gave me opportunities that were unique and personalized so that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my career when I graduated. I cannot sing its praises loudly enough, but I can give you a few snapshots of the work I did while there.

At the end of my Sophomore year at DAAP, we were assigned our first full project: Children's Wear in two parts. The first part was to be inspired by a childhood memory (more on that project another time!) and the second was to be inspired by your favorite childhood cartoon. Since my favorite cartoon was (and is) Alice in Wonderland, I went through all of its colorful characters to find the one that I felt could give me a fun, wearable kids' outfit. I landed on Tweedledee and Tweedledum:

Beginning with croquis sketches, through to flat technical sketches in Illustrator and finally to pattern-making and sewing, it was important that each step of the design process be documented and eventually graded for the quarter.

The biggest compliment I received was during the final critique, when my 2-year-old model kept running laps around the presentation stage. She wouldn't stand still for the judges! I was sure they were going to be upset, but they told me, "Of all the projects we've seen today, very few of them allowed the children to feel comfortable enough to run around and play the way your model is doing right now. That is what Children's Wear is all about, so we think you nailed it!"

From that day forward, insisting that fashion is not just about how you look but also so much about how you feel has become a mantra of mine. I still carry that with me today and it has become a pillar of what Unmarked Street stands upon.

"Fashion has two purposes: Comfort and Love."

- Coco Chanel

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