Meet the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show designers

Fashion’s future is at Columbus College of Art & Design—and this spring, we’re taking the show on the road to another hub of art, design, and creative innovation: 400 West Rich, in the Franklinton Arts District. This collaborative community center for the arts is home to many CCAD alumni, and on Thursday, May 12, it’ll be home to the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show and an evening of cutting-edge fashion by our emerging designers.

Tickets to this year’s Fashion Show go on sale on Monday, March 7; proceeds from the show support student scholarships. 

Below, meet our nine designers—eight Fashion Design seniors and one Master of Fine Arts candidate—whose work was selected for the show by a jury of industry professionals, and learn about the collections they’ll unveil on the runway.


Ridhima portrait

Ridhima Batra

Hometown: Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India
Collection name: Kairava
3 words to describe her collection: Spiritual, elegant, feminine

Email: [email protected]
Social: @ridhima_batra 

Drawing inspiration from the deep metaphorical use of the lotus flower in spiritual Vedic literature (ancient Indian spiritual books), the collection Kairava by Ridhima Batra showcases women’s elegance and femininity through different silhouettes. “Kairava” is Sanskrit for a white lotus flower that blooms at night, and Batra says that her spiritual practices have helped her bloom, even during such dark times as the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept her from traveling back home to India. Batra researched the numerous temple paintings described in books written by sages thousands of years ago, and sought to bring their visions to life with her collection. “I hope people appreciate that something intangible like spirituality can be translated into something artistic,” she says. The resulting spiritual, elegant, and feminine was made with sustainability in mind, using such fabrics as silk crepe, silk taffeta, silk habotai, and Bangalore silk to mimic the softness of lotus petals.



Marilyn Brown portrait

Marilyn Brown

Hometown: Beavercreek, Ohio
Collection name: Every Witch Way
3 words to describe her collection: Bewitching, relaxed, feminine

Email: [email protected]
Social: marilyngraceb.9 

Marilyn Brown’s design style has always embraced a mix of modern and 1970s styles, and her Fashion Show collection, Every Witch Way, is no exception. Brown spent hours doing trend research on the consumer insight site WGSN and discovered that witches are the next trend, and decided to build on that for her collection. Bewitching, relaxed, and feminine, Every Witch Way calls on the essence of Wicca as both a religious practice and style. “I used new techniques and I experimented with different patterning and draping techniques combined to achieve my desired results,” she says. Listening to the “white witch” herself, Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac gave Brown a “freeing feel” that she has gone on to incorporate in the collection. From the dark, mysterious vibe to the flow of the fabric to the burned and distressed scarves, the collection’s witchy aesthetic builds suspense.


Nat Della portrait

Nat Della Selva

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota
Collection name: NEIGHBORHOOD
3 words to describe her collection: Useful, textured, nostalgic

Email: [email protected] 

Social: @natdellas

With her collection NEIGHBORHOOD, Nat Della Selva gives homage to the people who raised her, including both family and neighbors from her childhood in a tight-knit community in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was reminded of that time during the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and tapped into it for the collection. “During isolation, people reconnected with their neighbors and leaned on each other for support. This experience reminded me of my childhood,” she says. The resulting collection has a strong emphasis on community; every piece is made using techniques that could be replicated at home. Viewers can expect plenty of knits as well as naturally dyed and reclaimed textiles from Della Selva’s youth, in rich tones of olive, cranberry, and chartreuse contrasted with pale pink, and ecru. Together, they evoke a useful, textured, and nostalgic feel. Della Selva says she’s always been a maker. “My mom was a florist for part of my childhood. I would often spend time at the flower shop making little corsages, or playing with rose petals. I always dressed outrageously, and I guess the two (making and clothing) came together to be known as fashion,” she says.


jesamie houghtby portrait

Calix Jace

Hometown: Akron, Ohio
Collection name: Kinzoku no Akuma (Metal Devil)
3 words to describe his collection: J-fashion, gothic, idiosyncratic

Email: [email protected] 

Social: TikTok: @PixelBoyCos (costume, fashion, works-in-progress, tutorials & some entertainment)  Instagram: @Prince.of.Pixels (fashion) & @PixelBoyCos (costume)

Calix Jace's interest in fashion stemmed from learning to sew at the age of five, but quickly grew when he discovered the art of cosplay and Harajuku street fashion (J-fashion). Kinzoku no Akuma (Metal Devil) features garments and accessories handmade by Jace. The designs are inspired by the Japanese “visual kei” style, specifically a substyle known as “angura kei”, which melds traditional Japanese garment silhouettes with ’80s glam rock and modern gothic streetwear aesthetics. The collection’s color palette is intentionally pared down, allowing the materials and silhouette in each look to stand out. Each look uses a variety of fabrics like faux leather and custom jacquards, fur, mesh, and thermoplastic, which can be cut, heated, molded, and shaped to provide a wide range of applications. Jace’s focus lies in bringing more high-quality alternative fashion to the alternative transmasculine/masculine-leaning nonbinary scene–especially important since he himself is an alt fashion-wearing transgender man. “My creative process for this collection has been a few years in the making and I’m excited to finally show everyone what I’m capable of,” he says.


Nicole Klein portrait

Nicole Klein

Hometown: Seymour, Wisconsin
Collection name:  nood
3 words to describe her collection: Flirty, confident, sparkle

Email: [email protected]
Social: @noodglamour 

Making a statement and bringing power back to women and their bodies is all what Nicole Klein’s collection, nood, is about. “Bodies in all shapes, sizes and colors are beautiful and we should be able to show them off without having to worry about making others uncomfortable,” she says. Klein’s inspiration for her collection came from Adam Selman's crystal-and fishnet “naked” dress designed for Rihanna at the 2014 CFDA awards, close research of nearly every naked-look dress worn on a red carpet in the past 50 years, as well as Klein’s longstanding fondness for lingerie. Each piece in her collection was carefully hand-dyed and hand-beaded to maintain a specific, consistent shade despite the presence of different fabric types—including silk charmeuse, silk duchess satin, power mesh, and a very soft Italian tulle—in nood. Ultimately, the collection’s elegant, nude aesthetic is one that preaches confidence and affirms that showing off your body doesn’t have to be controversial.


Maria Mendoza portrait

Maria Mendoza

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Collection name: Heritage
3 words to describe her collection: Colorful, avant-garde, chic

Email: [email protected] 

Social: @mendii.i  

Inspired by Guatemalan culture and traditional wear, Heritage by Maria Mendoza promotes the idea that textiles are a key expression of culture and spiritual identity. Mendoza’s extensive research on Guatemalan culture and traditional wear, textile production, and runway trends allowed her to incorporate a harmonious range of influences in her designs. Mendoza’s collection combines traditional textiles with modern designs and fabrics, together reflecting the importance of traditional textiles while also expressing Mendoza’s contemporary style. Mendoza was born in Guatemala but raised in the US. “I never felt truly Guatemalan because I left at such a young age and grew up in the US. I felt that this collection is my way of reconnecting with my heritage,” she says. Mendoza’s collection shows appreciation for the beauty of Guatemalan textiles while highlighting a variety of textiles and cultures that aren’t typically seen in current fashion designs. Colorful, avante garde, and chic, the collection comprises colorful hand-woven cotton Guatemalan textiles, cotton, linens, wool, charmeuse, and habotai. 


Skylar Rice portrait

Skylar Rice

Hometown: London, Ohio
Collection name: ABIOGENESIS.
3 words to describe her collection: Handcrafted, natural, eclectic 

Email: [email protected] 

Social: @_skydoesart

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Skylar Rice has spent a lot of time connecting with nature in her hometown, away from the city, a practice that inspired her collection, ABIOGENESIS. The word itself is defined as the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances. “I developed a passion for natural design and gathering inspiration from the outdoors and the world around me that I had never really seen in my own work before,” she says. Rice’s collection utilizes natural materials such as cotton and hemp and techniques such as hand embroidery. Bright hues created with onion skins, walnuts, and blackberries complement the materials and techniques and emphasize the pieces’ earthy feel. Rice's crisp and clean silhouettes create structure and style to contrast the raw and earthy qualities of her bacterial inspiration. The collection's major influences include science and biology, sustainability, and contemporary street style.


Austin Tootle portrait

Austin Tootle

Hometown: Lancaster, Ohio
Collection name: Serene Queen
3 words to describe his collection: Seductive, vintage, fierce

Email: [email protected] 

Social: @austin_tootle 

Seductive, vintage, and fierce, Austin Tootle’s collection Serene Queen hearkens back to the drama of the 1960s—with a twist. “The backstory of my collection is a cult where woman use men for money and sex before changing their identity,” he says. The collection is inspired by Lana Del Rey’s music, Priscilla Presley’s style, and the American Horror Story TV series. “I watched a lot of documentaries about the 1960s, concert films, and listened to Lana Del Rey’s music constantly to really analyze her lyrics.” Tootle says. The resulting collection tells of womens’ objectification and eventual empowerment beginning in the 1960s. “Certain aspects of the collection are the shoulder pads in the coat to show a strong backbone, but once the coat is revealed, the sexy lingerie shows a vulnerable side,” Tootle says. The pieces share a vintage Hollywood, cult aesthetic, with all the models wearing eight-inch heels and custom retro-styled wigs. The showstopper: A breathtaking catsuit made of Swarovski rhinestones. 


sophie randall portrait

Crystal Zhang

Hometown: Weihai, Shandong Province, China
Collection name: Metamorphosis
3 words to describe her collection: Avant-garde, flamboyant, lively 

Email: [email protected] 

Social Media: @crystalllyyy

Metamorphosis by Crystal Zhang, a second-year Master of Fine Arts candidate, shares her story of growth and healing from depression. “The healing feeling made me want to share my story with people and invite them to look into my inner world and find some echo” (to their own experiences), she says. Inspired by postmodernism and deconstructionism, each garment in Metamorphosis conveys a unique quality through different textile manipulation techniques and mixed-media. Avant-garde, flamboyant, and lively, many of Zhang’s designs are more like wearable sculptures than what we traditionally consider clothing, blurring the boundaries between art and fashion.. Perhaps Metamorphosis’s most anticipated piece is a look that features a large, red lobster tail-like piece decorated from bottom to the top and representing the growth of hope. “Metamorphosis not only happens through the whole collection but on each garment,” Zhang says.

 Learn more about the 2022 CCAD Fashion Show and secure your tickets right here.

Explore our Fashion Design and Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts programs or apply here.