By Kristen M. Foley
Tina Hughes’ passion for fashion started with a house. MTV’s House of Style to be exact. She recalls watching Cindy Crawford interview designers during an episode featuring fashion week and knowing exactly at that moment that fashion was what she wanted to pursue.
“I always gravitated toward that and knew that’s what I wanted to do, I just didn’t know what direction,” reflects Tina. “Some people know right out of high school and grow into it. I feel blessed in a way that I went through everything I did because I’m even more passionate about it than I was back then.”
“Everything” included being accepted into the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where she studied buying and merchandising and received her associate degree. From there she went on to upper division (to complete a bachelor’s degree) and changed her major to fabric styling and textile design; however, her life took a different path, which included moving to Columbus with her husband and raising her two daughters, Emma, 12, and Layna, 6. She continued to design and sew outfits for her children and realized that fashion was still something she wanted to pursue.
“It was always in the back of my head that I wanted to finish my degree for myself, even just to set an example for my kids that I finished what I started,” notes Tina. “They are a little bit older now, so they can see how hard I worked to get this degree.”
Balancing two children as well as school work has been a challenge, but also inspiring. She recalls lots of late nights followed by early mornings, but is beyond elated that she is that much closer to the fashion show and graduation. She survived the long days with the support of her entire family. Their surprise notes and gifts were enough to keep her motivated and to work extra hard to achieve her goal of completing not only her education, but her collection.
“I’m just so proud to have completed it,” she muses. “I set a plan for myself and I am proud that I was able to execute it. I feel so excited about it.”
Tina draws inspiration from her family and her Italian and Greek heritage. This core inspiration combined with her own personal eclectic style is clearly present in her collection, which is appropriately titled “Modern Vintage Abroad.” She loves that she is able to mix and match pieces, but still create a cohesive look with a story behind it.
“I think of these stories in my head and that’s what I enjoyed the most as I developed these five looks,” notes Tina. “I really think about who this girl is, what she is going to wear when she shops, goes to the museum, or on a date. I tried to intersperse that throughout my five looks, but I could have done 10. You always wish you could do more once you see how it evolves.”
Tina’s looks are also tied together through her use of bold fabrics and vintage details. Whether it’s using old timepieces as buttons or utilizing a variety of textured fabrics like brocade, silk and denim; each piece is unique but tells a collective story.
“I love putting together fabrics and color palettes,” she says.
You will be able to see Tina’s collection on May 10, but you’ll need a ticket, and you’ll want to get it now before prices go up March 29.
Tina Hughes is a native of Cleveland, OH, and a graduate of Eastlake North High School.
The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.