Tobi Ewing: Founder & President of Element Fashion Group

Besides being one of the most stylish girls on campus (and that’s tough!), Tobi Ewing ’15 is the founder and president of Element Fashion Group, which puts on Skidmore’s continually successful annual fashion show. We picked her brain on fashion, Element, and her future in the industry. Check her out!

Have you always been passionate about fashion or is this more of a recent discovery?

I've always been passionate about creativity and making stuff... I was really crafty and hands-on as a child. As far as design, I started designing simply with scissors and old (and new) clothes. I didn't know how to sew with a machine until about two years ago, so I depended highly on needle and thread, hot glue gun, fabric glue and scissors. I love, love, love cutting stuff up! A more recent discovery has been costume design, which I'm super interested in. I'm still learning the fashion industry, which is a whole other ball game...

Who are your favorite designers?

  • Zac Posen: He makes beautiful dresses, and I love dresses.
  • Betsey Johnson: Not exactly my style but love that throughout the years she's kept her youthful and quirky spirit.
  • Tracey Reese: Representing the people and women of color in the fashion industry! She works with a lot of prints and her pieces are timeless.

Tell us a little about the Element Fashion Group and what you guys do.

Element Fashion Group is an underground, non-chartered home for creative- and design-orientated students here at Skidmore. In the past we were under Pro Arts, but now we are our own club. Previously we focused mainly on our Spring Fashion Show, which is Skidmore's only student-designed show, but this year we experimented with some design workshops and documentary screenings. They were great additions!

What can we look forward to in the annual Element Fashion Show?

Well this year's theme is "Andy Warhol and The Factory"! Great theme thanks to our V.P., Liz Worgan. You can definitely expect amazing, creative designs from our student designers! We hope to have the show at the Tang this year, so keep your fingers crossed!

What are your hopes for EFG in the future?

We hope to continue to be a creative space for designer and those interested in fashion and style. Skidmore has no fashion program, but a lot of fashionable students. Stay tuned to see how we grow!

Do you have any plans for the future either fashion-related or not? (Not to stress you out or anything...)

I have no idea what I want to do! My interests are fashion design, costume design, LGBTQ issues, race politics, [and] I want to work in higher education... I'm all over the place, as you can see. I hope to be doing something that incorporates fashion and societal change!

What advice would you give to young fashion lovers interested in getting involved in the industry?

This is hard; I'm still a young fashionista myself! Definitely be open to your creative senses and don't downplay your talents. Try working with friends or on small projects to see if you like it. If the fashion industry doesn't reflect what you want or need, have the confidence to make your own space.

Tobi was recently offered internship positions at Ralph Lauren on both the Global Sourcing and Manufacturing team and Fabric Operations team--congrats to this super talented collegiette! It’s safe to say this girl is going places, so keep your eye on her!