Meet our 2021 CCAD Fashion Show designers
The 2021 CCAD Fashion Show presented by L Brands Foundation takes place Friday, May 14, 2021. Before the most fashionable fundraiser of the year arrives, read on to get to know the student designers whose work you’ll be seeing. Be among the first to see the one-of-a-kind collections by these emerging fashion designers at the Fashion Show—you can do so at the Easton Community Drive-In, with a socially distanced in-person experience, or you can enjoy the same amazing show from the comfort of home with our virtual experience. Secure your ticket today and support student scholarships at CCAD.
Hometown: Boardman, Ohio
Collection in three words: Bright. Warm. Vibrant.
With a palette of orange, salmons, yellows, and pinks, Rina Andreatta is hoping to conjure up memories of summer. Her collection Forever Summer was inspired by the individuality of sunsets and drew from her personal memories, including time spent as a competitive swimmer and lifeguard. The collection includes swimsuits and cover-ups and uses materials like spandex, nylon, cotton, linen, and polyester blends. “I hope this collection takes people to a warm state of mind and has them wishing summer could last forever,” she says. Reflecting on her time at CCAD, Andreatta says she has grown immensely in her design aesthetic and as a person. “The skills taught at CCAD helped me design in a more professional way,” she says. “The courses at CCAD don’t just teach you technical skills, but also industry strategy.”
Hometown: Farmersville, Ohio
Collection in three words: Escapist. Comfortable. Soft.
Marie Antoinette is the inspiration behind Jo Baudendistel’s collection. But not the Marie Antoinette most people picture. “While we have versions of her in pop culture that talk about how she was materialistic and vain, she actually hated court life and preferred to spend her time in her country home with a few of her closest friends,” Baudendistel says, adding that Antoinette was pushed by the rest of the court to present herself in the classic corseted and hooped styles of the day. Baudendistel’s collection, La Petite Maison De La Reine (the little house of the queen), pulls inspiration from Antoinette’s silhouettes and tendency for comfort as well as the popular color palettes and prints of that time. Sustainability is also a top concern, says Baudendistel, who used 85% thrifted materials. “I believe that part of the answer to the fashion industry's pollution problem is moving back to slow fashion, and taking pride in the pieces that we own.”
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Collection in three words: Organic. Experimental. Free.
Alexandra Braughton can trace her interest in fashion design to a random day her sophomore year of high school when she decided she wanted a sewing machine. That Christmas, she got her wish. “I spent hours in my bedroom teaching myself how to use the machine,” she says, noting she worked on everything from hemming her school uniform to making Halloween costumes. After high school Braughton went on to study retail and fashion merchandising at Ohio University, but she wasn’t satisfied. “With the influence from an amazing friend and the option of CCAD having been in the back of my mind for the last two years, I made a portfolio and applied,” she recalls. Now, for her senior collection, Timeworn/Torn, Braughton pulls inspiration from dilapidated rooms and homes. She uses a mixture of natural colors with pops of vibrancy. Some of the ways in which she experimented with the collection are through natural dyeing, draping, and letting ideas come to her in strange places.
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Collection in three words: Sleek. Fluid. Experimental.
Fusing the past and future to create something beautiful and ahead of its time is the goal of Jayla Carson’s collection, Edo Futurism. Described as sleek, fluid, and experimental, the looks are inspired by traditional Japanese fashion and Neo Futurism. “For my garments I used a mixture of polyesters, silk, modal, faux leather, and more,” she says. “For my color palette, I used a simple bright white with a sky blue, ice blue, and a touch of silver.” Carson’s work includes details such as a kimono sleeve and hakama pants. She experimented by using various fabric selections, design details, and body types. “I have always played it safe with the type of garments I designed and the size I designed them for,” she says. “This time I am playing around with techniques, body types, and gender-neutral styles.” She hopes people pay attention to the details of her garments and the way they move on the models.
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Collection in three words: Chic. Professional. Alluring.
Acceptance and growth led to Ammala Doeung’s collection, Comparison Kills, which she describes as chic, professional, and alluring. “For many years I have struggled with my self-image due to comparing myself to others,” she says. “It took time to start loving myself and gaining confidence.” Doeung’s looks feature beautiful tailored and draped designs that could be worn anywhere and use light- to medium-weight fabrics for spring and summer. Reflecting on her time at CCAD, Doeung says she has changed as a designer. “At first I thought my creative process was great, but I realized that I needed to do a lot of research when it came to fashion because my first interest was animation and illustration. I've definitely progressed and my illustrations and design aesthetics have changed.”
Hometown: Mount Gilead, Ohio
Collection in three words: Compostable. Avant-garde. Gender-defying.
Inspired by botany, Brutalist architecture, nature reclaiming structures, and the death-positive movement, amelioration // reclamation by Jesamie Houghtby is 100% biodegradable. Houghtby’s designs use untreated wood, bamboo, organic cotton twills, knit panels, and more than 100 hand-sculpted clay "human" teeth. The avant-garde and gender-defying collection is made to compost with the human body postmortem. Houghtby spent all summer working on their collection, creating more than 50 look sketches, conducting research, and pressing plants. Working with fully compostable elements was new to Houghtby and required adjustments like using button closures instead of zippers and swapping out the typical polyester, a plastic-based thread, for 100% cotton. Houghtby says they hope their work evokes a sense of wonder and inspiration in the viewer and perhaps even provides a bit of peace and escapism.
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Collection in three words: Liberation. Exploration. Education.
Making a statement about the pandemic indirectly was one of Marvin Hutchins’ goals with his collection, Physical Activism: Exploration in the Context of Women's Liberation. One positive of the past year, Hutchins notes, is the surge in people enjoying outdoor activities. “Exploration during the pandemic is seen by many as a form of escapism,” he says. “The collection has been greatly influenced by historical elements of female exploration in contrast to daily life observed during the pandemic.” Hutchins pulled inspiration from books like Hannah Ross’ Revolutions: How Women Changed the World on Two Wheels. In the collection, Hutchins reinterprets cyclewear and hiking pieces from the Victorian era with a modern twist. He hopes people will see the story of how exploration helped push women’s liberation and freedom.
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Collection in three words: Beautiful. Feminine. Masculine.
With quilts, woven blankets, and a color palette that pairs pastel colors with brown, Angela Jernigan is hoping to show Black men in a different light in her collection titled Alive. “The inspiration of my collection comes from the protests over the summer,” she says. Jernigan sought out materials and colors that tend to be linked to women or older women and not thought to be connected to young Black men. After graduation, Jernigan hopes to move to Los Angeles to be a costume designer for film and video. It was television, after all, that inspired her to become a designer. “Growing up I used to watch America’s Next Top Model and That's So Raven, which got me interested in fashion and creating,” she says. “That's So Raven really showed me that I could aspire to be a Black female fashion designer.”
Hometown: Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Collection in three words: Feminine. Nostalgic. Vintage.
Through her collection, Chengdu Teahouse Crush, Levi Li weaves together ancient traditions and modern perspectives. The collection celebrates teahouse culture in her hometown of Chengdu, located in China’s Sichuan province. Growing up, Li often visited teahouses with her grandmother. The collection combines patterns and colors of tea sets and tiles with details and techniques of her grandmother’s garments. “I tried to invite young people to go into the teahouse and attach importance to objects in the past through this collection,” Li says. “It represents memories of the older generation too.” Lace, satin, polyester, and jacquard fabric are the main materials in the collection, and Li uses crochet, embroidery, and printing techniques. Feminine, nostalgic, and vintage, the collection is bright with pastel colors, floral patterns, mellow silhouettes, and lace details. Speaking of her ideal customers, Li says they are young women full of vitality who dress however they want and aren’t limited by society.
Hometown: Qingdao, Shandong, China
Collection in three words: Avant-garde. Reflective. Story-like.
Avant-garde, reflective, and story-like, Stephanie Li’s collection, NEO-Vorticism World, has a deeper message. “My inspiration was from Vorticism,” she says. “The founders of Vorticism used art to convey ideas and opinions gained from them observing society.” Li did just that, surveying 100 people. She found that most young people are essentially addicted to their phones. When asked about where they felt most at peace, the majority of respondents mentioned nature. Through her collection, Li expresses her views of modern society and appeals to people to break away from a life controlled by electronics and return to truly enjoying life. Her designs are based on four paintings she created in the Vorticism style. “I broke the lines of each painting, according to the order of the painting and randomly arranged each painting's lines on two shirts and two suits,” she says. The paintings also demonstrate a progression as they move toward a relaxed environment not bound to technology. Hard lines relax into soft lines and the color palette moves from dark to light.
Hometown: Springfield, Ohio
Collection in three words: Vulnerable. Cathartic. Juxtaposition.
The events of the past year greatly influenced Leighanne Marcum’s collection, UNEASE. Marcum says people are feeling uneasy, vulnerable, and scared because of the pandemic. “People don't know how to feel or what to do as we all adjust to this new world we are living in,” Marcum says. “I am also hoping to pay homage to the Black Lives Matter movement, along with the political difficulties that have cropped up either this year or have been brought to light this year.” Marcum uses sheer organza to bring attention to the beauty of the model’s skin tones and bodies while also allowing them to feel covered and protected by the amount of layers they are wearing. “The juxtaposition of having on so many layers, while those layers are completely sheer help translate my message of feeling vulnerable yet wanting to be seen above all else,” she says. Marcum says they hope people will find a catharsis or be able to identify with the pieces. “I hope that I can turn the ugliest feelings I've had over this very hard year into something very beautiful.”
Hometown: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Collection in three words: Groovy. Unique. Fun.
Two loves that are evident in Akilah-Marie Marshall’s collection, Don't Split Up, are her affinity for vintage fashion and for vintage horror. “My inspiration came from watching movies from the 60s and 70s and really looking at what the characters wore during that time period,” she says. Marshall’s collection emulates iconic silhouettes such as flare bottoms and flare sleeves while giving them an edgy twist. Each look or “character” is inspired by classic horror character tropes found in films like Friday the 13th and Evil Dead. Through her collection, Marshall tells a story about a groovy gang on the run from a spooky specter. “I also play the cello and dance, and with those two mediums you can have a narrative with the piece,” Marshall says. “When performing you create your own little world on stage, so I hope people enjoyed seeing the world and story I created on the runway.”
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Collection in three words: Light. Feminine. Resort.
Brooke Robertson set out to design a collection that was powerful and feminine like some of the most important women in her life—her mother and grandmother. In her collection, air d'été, Robertson pulls inspiration from her mother’s bridesmaid dresses and her grandmother’s beautiful, vintage French vase with a woman’s profile. She describes the collection as light, feminine, resort wear. “I have always loved when designers would come out with their couture resort collections, especially the Australia-based brand, Zimmermann,” she says. So Robertson created her own resort wear collection in which she experimented with fabric dyeing and manipulation techniques. She hopes people will notice the small accent details and the cohesiveness of each look. Reflecting on how she has grown as a designer during her time at CCAD, Robertson says she has become interested in textiles. “I love learning fabric techniques and different pattern/print designs,” she says. “I also absolutely loved learning how to design knitwear.”
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Collection in three words: Chic. Polished. Effortless.
During the pandemic, JoVaughn Salaam spent a lot of time with his dad, learning about his life and the hardships he overcame to become the man he is today. The stories, particularly about his teenage to young adult years when he was a street hustler in the mid-80s to early-90s nicknamed Wheatstrow, inspired Salaam’s collection, Vintage Wheatstrow. “I wanted to dig deep inside his head to portray the life of a drug dealer from a young age growing into a man through my collection,” Salaam says. During the summer, Salaam got into his father’s mindset, listening to the music he once did, dressing like him, and talking like him. He found inspiration by shopping for clothes of the era at thrift stores and pushed himself as a designer by using fabrics he hadn’t worked with before. Salaam says he hopes people will respond to his work with an open mind and feel the emotion and compassion he put into the collection.
Hometown: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Collection in three words: Collaboration of cultures
Inspired by two cultures, Rai Sarkar hopes to create an Indo-Western aesthetic in her collection, Eshterak, which blends American and Indian fashion. Sustainability is equally important. “I am reusing my mother's, my aunt's, and some of our family friend's old sarees and denim that I already had,” Sarkar says. She also uses traditional Indian jewelry for straps and other accessories. Reflecting on where her interest in fashion started, Sarkar says it has always been there. “I love the idea of dressing up and how powerful it is, how it affects and changes a person's mood,” she says. “I remember watching the runway shows and sometimes just crying because I was so overwhelmed by the clothes and beauty of it and the idea of the fashion world.” Sarkar says her biggest passion is styling. The payoff when she sees someone and imagines how she can style them then gets to put that vision together? “Ultimate happiness,” she says.
Hometown: Howard, Ohio
Collection in three words: Warm. Massive. Extravagant.
There’s no missing Dom Susi’s collection, Cascading Epinephrine. Warm, massive, and extravagant, the collection is inspired by the actions that cause the rise and eventual drop of the hormone adrenaline. “The inspiration has become an amalgamation of mountaineering, action sports, hunting, and war,” says Susi, who was a real estate agent in Brooklyn before coming to CCAD. Susi says these spikes in adrenaline, such as the moment a mountaineer reaches a summit, serve as the dog-eared pages in the book of each person’s life. His collection features mountaineering silhouettes that are goose down-stuffed, rip-stop nylon garments. Susi’s ultimate goal? “To add fluidity and a lack of symmetry to the standard down puffer garment,” he says. As a result of skateboarding and snowboarding growing up, Susi says he has always gravitated toward streetwear. ”As I’ve aged and become more educated, I began to appreciate the people who were purposely pushing design and style. I’m hoping to become one of those individuals myself.”
Hometown: Urbana, Ohio
Collection in three words: Heavenly. Glamorous. Sexy.
Ryder Teach’s heavenly, glamorous, and sexy collection, Angel Energy, The Collection, has been developing throughout his time at CCAD. “I've always had this vision in my mind, and I am so excited to have already started bringing it to life,” he says. Some of Teach’s inspirations are statues, nude tones, jewels, feathers, and pastel clouds. He hopes the looks, for both men and women, will break boundaries, flaunt the body’s physique, embody each one’s sexual poise, and exude what he calls “angel energy.” Says Teach, “I want every look to feel as if they came straight from my own version of heaven—one where soft tones and lustful fabrics complement the body with exposed silhouettes and jewels.” Extravagant accessories such as crystal chains, Swarovski applique, and the makeup will bring each look to life. While Teach has already had his dream internship with Abercrombie & Fitch and will work there after graduation, he says one day he hopes to design wardrobes for singers on tour, preferably Ariana Grande (who he credits, along with Madonna, as helping place him in the world of his collection).
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Collection in three words: Feminine, artisanal, pioneering
Grace Warren was feeling uninspired as she began trying to find a concept for her collection. That all changed when she stumbled across the realistic oil paintings of women on the frontier painted by Benjamin Wu. She immediately knew this would be the motivation behind the collection that became Liberation: Homage to the Heroine. Warren began collecting images and researching westward expansion and pioneer life. She learned that modesty and practicality were the leading factors of design during this time when women were looked to as property and their modesty as obedience to their husbands. “Today, women are more freely able to verbalize their style by the way they dress, so I wanted to celebrate that through this collection,” she says. Warren substituted synthetic fabrics with natural materials such as linen, cotton poplin, cotton percale, and cotton yarn to make prairie-inspired maxi dresses, shirt dresses, and crocheted sweater accents. Pomegranate skins, black tea, and other natural items were used to dye materials shades of yellow, olive, sepia, and ivory and round out this homage to the heroine, Warren says.