Attention to detail and a broad world view led Dominican University apparel design student Megan Strong to receive a $5,000 scholarship from Fashion Group International of Chicago.
A Chicago Heights resident, Strong’s winning senior design collection was inspired by her three-month internship with Norwest Industries in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
“The CEO made sure that I was able to see every part of the garment manufacturing process, from sketch to shipment. There are tight deadlines and being on top of your game every day is a must,” she said.
“The biggest things I took away were how to keep costs down, create garments for a specific client and give value to low-cost pieces.”
“It was also a great lesson in international business. Knowing how people think on the other side of the world helps a great deal when trying to get something done in a timely manner,” Strong added.
Strong’s collection, featuring earthy tones and quiet Asian influences, will also be featured in Dominican University’s Department of Apparel Merchandising and Design Spring Fashion Show in April.
“The name of my collection in Bengali is (shoen-door). It means Beauty. The wearer is meant to feel glamorous and understated all at once,” she said.
Realizing that consumers in Dhaka appreciate value, Strong hopes to factor versatility into her products. The six pieces in her current line can be worn 15 different ways, making her more marketable as a designer.
“Batiked silk chiffon, a method of dying using wax as a resistor, is an Asian technique used on each of my dresses to give a striking texture to the wrapped silk parts.”
“Brocade, traditionally used as a sari fabric, combined with silk Dupioni from the markets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, give classic styling a worldly feel,” she added.
Slated to graduate this year, Strong hopes to work for a large, international fashion company.
“I really want to work for a company that is interested in teaching, as well as hiring. I want to continue to develop my skills as well as share what I can bring to the table,” she said.