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Meet Two Upcoming Fashion Designers

Two months ago, I asked you to vote in Styleta’s Student Designer Competition. Over 1500 votes were cast! Stacy Longo won first place and LaTonya Williams was the runner-up. I had the pleasure to interview Stacy and LaTonya about their designs. Read on to hear what these talented women had to say:

Her Campus: Where did you go to school?
Stacy Longo:
I just graduated this May 2010 from The Fashion Institute of Technology. I received my BFA in Fashion Design, specializing in Sportswear.
LaTonya Williams: I attended the International Academy of Design & Technology. I graduated in November 2009.

HC: Tell us about your design.
When I design, I put a lot of time into creating pieces that are sustainable and minimize waste.  This particular design is made from 100% reclaimed denim- the shirt and pant. They’re just your ordinary pair of denim jeans!
LW: I designed the yellow coat dress as part of my senior collection. My goal was to produce a garment that was wearable, while providing a unique twist.

HC: What inspired your Styleta piece?
Usually, my materials inspire me the most. I like mixing perfection with imperfection. I love the evenness of squares and grids with the not-so-perfect look of denim and reclaimed fabric.  For my Project Earth Day garment I did a tightly woven top, so this year I made it all able the open weave top! You’re able to wear whatever you want underneath to fit your own personal style.
LW: The coat dress submitted for this competition was a replica of the dress I designed for my senior collection. Our assignment was to create a collection that was a self reflection. Throughout the collection I combined black and white with a touch of yellow to exhibit my quiet, yet aggressive demeanor.

HC: Describe your style in three words.
Sustainable, edgy, different.
LW: Classic, sexy, sophisticated.

HC: When did you become interested in fashion?
I have been interested in art since I could hold a pencil.  I’ve always loved painting and it wasn’t until high school when my teacher told me my drawings and paintings reminded him of textile design.  During my years in high school  I took non-credit courses on the weekends at F.I.T. and discovered my new passion for fashion. Like any type of art, the end result and saying “I created this!” is the best part!
LW: Growing up in a family of designers, I developed an early affinity for fashion, modeling, and make-up artistry. I learned to sew at the age of 10, and since then have been creatively designing and making clothes. Of course, it wasn’t until I completed IADT- Chicago that I was able to prefect my craft.

HC: Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?
Do what you love, love what you do.  The biggest thing I can tell designers is to stick to their own style. Don’t change yourself to fit in with what everyone else is doing, being your own person and designer makes you unique.
LW: Many aspiring designers are attracted to fashion because of the glamour and because they like clothes, but what they don’t understand is the hard work and long hours required to make it in this business. Based on what I’ve learned, my advice is not to be deterred by the challenges. Instead, through it all, believe in your craft and continue to follow your dream.

Whether you’re interested in fashion design or not, it’s hard to not be inspired by Stacy and LaTonya! If you’re interested in purchasing their designs, they will be sold on Styleta. Stacy’s designs are not currently for sale, although they will be in the future. She can be reached at [email protected] for more information. Chicagoans can shop for LaTonya’s designs at Local Lookbook in Lincoln Park, Chicago or online at ES Fashions.

Originally from Boston, Hannah is now a sophomore at New York University and loves life in the big city. Her favorite things include poking fun at celebrities on Twitter, yoga, leopard print shoes, Frank Sinatra, and her little sister Julia. Hannah was Her Campus's first editorial intern in Summer 2010 and has since continued her involvement with HC as the High School Editor and head of the High School Ambassador program. She is a former Seventeen and Huffington Post intern, where she researched and wrote about celebrities and once made lunch for Kylie Jenner. Read her short-form ramblings at @hannahorens.
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