Scholarship helps fashion design student pursue his dreams
Ryder Teach (Fashion Design, 2021) knew he was destined to attend Columbus College of Art & Design from the first time he caught a glimpse of a CCAD Fashion Show online. After visiting from his hometown of Urbana, Ohio, for a college tour, he decided the school was a perfect fit.
At CCAD, Teach has learned how to manage his time, and how to maintain a sense of creativity and inspiration. “At times it can get pretty hard to stay on the grind, to not get burned out,” he says. “It’s really about putting forth my best work with as much passion as I can, because it’s really important to not stray away from who I am as a creator.”
Finding his community
Teach has loved the community aspect and hands-on nature of CCAD and the way students feed off each other’s energy. He enjoyed his time in the Student Fashion Association, a group that, pre-COVID, would meet up to socialize, snack, and work on homework. “It helped bring us all together and helped us focus on an aspect of the department that’s not with our classes.”
For Teach, a recipient of CCAD’s Columbus Fashion Council Scholarship, scholarship funds have helped support his educational ambitions. Scholarships are crucial to the success of CCAD’s students and to the college’s sustainability. A scholarship not only supports CCAD students, but also improves the college’s ability to help manage the ever-increasing costs of higher education. In the academic year 2018–2019, all incoming CCAD students received grant or scholarship aid, according to College Navigator.
Thomas McClure is the Founder/Executive Director of Columbus Fashion Council, the nonprofit behind Fashion Week Columbus and the scholarship Teach received. McClure notes that the nonprofit’s mission is to provide scholarships to Fashion Design students, assisting them with completing their fashion design degree in order to pursue their dreams in the fashion industry.
“We're proud of the amazing talent Columbus College of Art & Design continues to develop,” McClure says. “Fashion plays a large role in all of our lives. And these students are the future leaders in fashion."
Teach used the scholarship funds to help cover the cost of tuition, as well as supplies, fabric, and day-to-day expenses.
“It meant so much,” says Teach, who went up against fellow designers from his cohort to earn the Columbus Fashion Council Scholarship. “I was up against some great work and they had some faith in mine; they liked what they saw.”
A bright future
Teach landed an internship with Abercrombie & Fitch, his dream employer, and even though the internship was reconfigured to a two-week virtual session, he still came away with an offer for a full-time position. After he graduates in May, Teach will start as an assistant apparel designer working on concepting and design work for seasonal collections.
While he can see himself staying long-term at Abercrombie, where he loves the atmosphere and the brand, his “huge, almost unrealistic” dream is to become a wardrobe designer for celebrities on tour—“specifically Ariana Grande,” he says. “I’m just obsessed with her.”
One of his most memorable CCAD moments came during his sophomore year, when he was one of three fashion design students to win a scholarship from the Fashion Scholarship Fund, based in New York City. Teach got the opportunity to visit the city over Christmas break, where he attended a gala, did lots of networking, and even met a few celebrities, including Ryan Seacrest.
Teach is a designer who always pushes himself to do his best, says Professor Suzanne Cotton, Chair of CCAD’s Fashion Design program.
“He tends to like to use unusual shapes and materials which are fun to figure out,” Cotton says. “He is strong both in the design and technical design fields. His senior collection is fun and has this out-of-this-world sparkle, which I think we could all use right now.”
For his final collection, which he will show on the runway during the 2021 CCAD Fashion Show happening Friday, May 14, Teach wanted to step out of his comfort zone.
“It’s my own personal aesthetic put into these blingy, elegant pieces,” he says. “I’m really inspired by Renaissance paintings, and an earthy and heavenly angel aesthetic.”
Those influences are channeled through nude tones and glamorous materials, such as tulle paired with soft ostrich feathers and crystal chains.
“I’m trying to put out this vision I have of this really glamorous aesthetic that’s a little more muted,” Teach says, “and not, colorwise, very flashy.”
See Teach’s collection, “Angel Energy,” and the work of 17 other emerging designers at the 2021 CCAD Fashion Show. Secure your ticket by Monday, May 10 and support student scholarships to CCAD.
Learn more about the Fashion Design program at CCAD or apply here.
Photos from top:
Ryder Teach (Fashion Design, 2021)
Design by Ryder Teach for a student exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art. Model: Kenie Tyree
A piece from Ryder Teach’s senior collection titled “Angel Energy” made with satin viscose, tulle, ostrich feathers, and crystal chains.
Another piece from Ryder Teach’s senior collection, “Angel Energy.” The tailored jacket features hand-stitched crystal chains, functional double welt pockets, and a matching skirt using the same wool herringbone as well as chainmail appliqué.