Fashion forward: Chia Hsuan Wei

Fashion Design, Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) Senior Fashion Show Designer Chia Hsuan Wei

Chia Hsuan Wei, 21, says fashion is an adventure. "And I have lots of things to explore."

A senior fashion design student from Taiwan, Wei will debut her work alongside that of her CCAD classmates (16 fellow seniors and one MFA) Friday, May 13, at the annual CCAD Senior Fashion Show.

Read on to hear more from Wei, and be sure to check out the earlier entries in our multiweek series featuring the outstanding student designers whose work will be hitting the runway next month. (And be sure to check back in the coming weeks to catch more terrific stories from these up-and-comers in the world of fashion design.)

Her Transformation

Wei sees her collection for the fashion show — five looks in all — as an extension of her transition from a “rough stone," limited in her understanding of fashion, to one that has had its rough edges polished off. “It’s kind of like a transformation of my life towards fashion,” she says. “I was like a rock, and now I’m a pebble — smooth.” Her looks are modern and structured, with pops of blue fabric and clear plastic material, a homage to water’s power in taking rough stone and slowly but certainly smoothing it out. “Time and experience smooth out surfaces — and also my mind. It's a transformation,” she says.

Her details

Among the special elements in Wei’s five looks include one with “a lot of surface design,” she says. “I used puffy paint, and if you touch it, it’s kind of like the texture of a stone.” Three of her looks employ plastic material, including intricate pleating, and another look features a long sweatshirt with a bag that can be detached and used separately, if the wearer chooses. “It’s very cool,” says Wei, who counts among her influences Acne Studio, Jia pei li and Comme des Garcons.

Her experience

The yearlong prep for the Senior Fashion Show “is everything,” says Wei. “I think sometimes you like it and sometimes you hate it and sometimes it takes too much time — but overall, I like it a lot.” And her favorite part so far, she says, has been witnessing models wear her designs at a photo shoot in March. “It's totally different” to see people wearing and modeling her finished designs, Wei says.

Her life post-graduation

Wei doesn’t yet know if she’ll return to Asia or try to stay in the U.S. after graduating from CCAD, but she does have one thing on her immediate agenda: another show. “I have a fashion show in Hong Kong after I graduate, on June 13. It’s a big competition, and I’m one of the finalists. I’m working on it now,” Wei says. The International Fashion Design Competition features 18 student finalists from the U.S., the U.K. and other parts of Europe, Australia, India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere. Wei’s collection, Micro-aggression, will share some similarities with her CCAD show, but also will represent a different facet of her designs. “It’s completely different in the colors, but it’s still my style,” she says.


Join CCAD for the hottest runway event in Columbus. The CCAD Senior Fashion Show gets underway Friday, May 13. Click here for more information.