1. What is your name?
2. What is your major?
3. How long have you been sewing?
I've been sewing in general (pillows, curtains etc.) since I was 6 or 7. I ended up quitting until I was 13 because I couldn't sew a straight line (by hand) and I picked it up again later on.
4. What inspired you to start sewing?
I needed an outfit for a school dance that I wanted to go to, and my mom said that she wouldn't buy me anything because I "had enough clothes in my closet to find something to wear." I (obviously) disagreed, and I asked her to help me make something instead. She was happy to, because anything I made would be way easier on her wallet than anything I wanted to buy.
She told me to figure out what I wanted, and gave me a couple magazines to look through, then I found this picture of Dakota Fanning and I was obsessed with the skirt.
With my mom's help I ended up making it in a purple (my favorite color), white, and black african print skirt, just in time for the dance!
This is a picture from one of the fashion shows I planned in high school (clearly not me wearing the skirt but a model)
-How long has your mom been designing and sewing?
I honestly have no idea? I'm going to say she's been sewing forever, just because my grandma also made their clothes when they were younger and I'm assuming my mom learned a lot then.
-Does your mom have any shows coming up? If yes, how could people attend?
Yes she does! She's showing in Pittsburgh Fashion Week, on Thursday September 25th at 7:00PM in Highmark Stadium.
-Does your mom have a website?
She does: http://www.50sisterhood.com/
5. Have you ever had your designs put in a fashion show before? If yes which ones?
Yes I have, I planned my own shows throughout high school, and I showed artwork along with mine and other students work. I also have showed in Pittsburgh Fashion Week 2013 (my first quarter at AIP) and am showing in Pittsburgh Fashion 2014 (this year) again. I also showed in the Prima Facie Spirit Show at Carnegie Mellon, which was a fun experience!
Which show was your favorite? And why?
I think I enjoyed the shows that I planned at my high school the most, just because there was a huge sense of family and camaraderie. I got to give a lot of people that were interested in showing their art a chance to do so, and I persuaded a bunch of people to model for me. The arts weren't really a huge deal at my school (they aren't really at any school honestly) so I was really grateful that the administration and students were willing to work with me to make this happen for three years straight.
I remember when I first asked about doing a fashion show one of my teachers said "you'll probably have to wait and do it next year, don't you think?" and about 2 months later I had produced the first "Art and Fashion Showcase". It was just an incredibly rewarding experience.
6. Do you have any shows coming up?
I do! I am showing in Pittsburgh Fashion Week for the second time this year which is very exciting! The show is on Saturday, September 27th at 7:00PM at the Art Institutes.
7. How can people go?
Just purchase your ticket here: http://www.showclix.com/event/quotBTBquotBackToBasics
and there's plenty of parking around the school.
8. What was your inspiration for this collection?
I really wanted to work with cable knits for this collection, and that's sort of what I did. I'm not a great knitter, but I'm an avid crocheter, so I did my own version of cable knits with crochet patterns instead.
9. Do you have any designers that you look up to or take inspiration from?
I don't always look to designers for inspiration, I like looking into nature, or literature, mythology, or pretty much anything I find interesting. One designer and design house I do admire is Kenzo (https://www.kenzo.com/en/). I am in LOVE with their prints and how they incorporate them into their collections.
10. Where do you see yourself in the fashion industry in a few years?
I'd really like to work in childrenswear (I know, not exactly what I'm doing now) either designing, or even doing some technical design. I'm also thinking about going to school for footwear design/cobbling. I really love shoes, and I've wanted to learn how to make them since I was around 15 so that's another thing i'd like to get the chance to do. I'm not entirely sure yet, but I've got some time to think about it...
11. Whats your favorite part about designing?
My favorite part of designing is actually making the clothing. I love watching a flat piece of fabric turn into something wearable. I find it incredible that we can make pieces of art from plant fibres, and honestly, we can make anything we want. That's what I love about designing, there are no boundaries.
12. What's your least favorite part about designing?
My least favorite part... I'm not sure I have one about designing specifically? When I feel I've finished a project and find that a hem is uneven, or I forgot to close something I find that annoying. I hate having to go back to projects that I've deemed complete.
13. What company or designer do you see yourself wanting to work for? [dream job]
In one of my classes I was working on a research project and I found a childrenswear company based in Chicago named Wolfechild (http://www.wolfechild.net/) and I just love everything they're doing. A lot of cute florals, and stripes, and childrenswear is just super cute anyways.
I'd also love to work at/with Sophia Webster (http://www.sophiawebster.co.uk/). She's a London based footwear designer, and everything about her designs is cute and bubbly, and sassy and adorable. She's mostly working in womens footwear but also has a childrenswear collection out there.
It would also be cool to work with/at ALDO (http://www.aldoshoes.com/us), I love their shoes, and it would be great to learn more about their design and production processes.
For Womenswear, I'd love to work with the Kenzo designers Humberto Leon, and Carol Lim. I'd honestly just like to see where they get their prints, because they're always so vibrant and eye catching!
14. Do you have a website or social media for people to contact you or see your work?
I am editing my website now! sammiandcompany.com and it should be up after my show in Fashion Week!
OH! Also i've got a blog: sammisews.blogspot.com