CCAD Fashion Design student creates sustainable hope and sustainable clothes

MollyKate Cline (Fashion Design, 2020) was born Molly Ross. Her name changed when she was adopted at age 9.

“I was convinced it sounded like a fashion designer’s name,” Cline says. “So I cut off my hair, changed my look, and took on the persona of a little fifth grade fashion designer with a cool new name.”

Along with the name change came a new passion for making clothes and learning to sew. Making clothes became a cathartic outlet for Cline because, underlining all that newness, was a profound loss.

“A new hobby, a new name, a new ‘me,’” she says, “was my coping method for the depression that hit me right in the heart.”

That’s because Cline’s life so dramatically changed after her father took his own.

“I’ve grown into myself now and I love the person I am, what I do, my new name, and the new life that has come after losing my dad,” she says. “My life goals have never changed. I have my dad to thank. He instilled a drive into my heart that is so passionate. I do everything now to make him proud.”

mollykate cline sitting
mollykate fashion
mollykate fashion

There’s no doubt he’d be proud of her most recent accomplishment: Cline was selected as the first-ever 19-year-old solo entrepreneur to be featured in Phoenix Fashion Week’s Emerging Design Bootcamp 2018, which will conclude with a Fashion Week premier showcase of her Spring 2019 collection Oct. 18 through 20. She’ll be competing for the title of Designer of the Year and its $10,000 prize package.

Cline’s 12-look line is made from ethically produced sustainable materials, including high natural fiber content such as cotton, linen, silk, and bamboo.

“My favorite part of the collection is the print design,” she says. “My grandmother actually hand painted a watercolor floral print that we digitally printed onto fabric. It gives a very fun, floral, and personal touch to the collection.”

She plans to donate money from her collection to mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

“I aim to inspire other people to find their own creative outlet that will let their mind, mental illness, and thoughts take a break,” Cline says. “I like to believe when we were all little kids, we didn’t dream of cubicles, analytics, and Excel documents. I like to believe little kids, at night, dream of imaginary worlds, made-up creations, and the unimaginable. This is why throughout my life, when I’m struggling with my anxiety or depression, I think back to those crazy dreams. And the cool thing is, as far away as they seem, creativity is the one thing that can take us there.”

Read more about MollyKate Cline in Arizona Foothills Magazine, and learn more about CCAD’s Fashion Design program.