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AROUND TOWN: Emelia Black

Attending fashion school is one of the most inspirational college experiences one can find themselves in. From your peers, to the material you are learning, to the clothes and fabrics that surround you, it is hard not to find some sort of stimulation and creative drive amongst such talent and resources. I am lucky enough to live with one of the spunkiest and most unique individuals on campus as well as in the fashion program, Emelia Black, and had the chance to talk to her specifically about her more personal attachment to fashion.

Name: Emelia Black

Role: Student Designer

CollegeFashionista: What sparked your interest in fashion?

Emelia Black: When I was in second grade I started getting really distraught if clothes didn’t look the way I wanted them to. I would go home after a hard day on the playground seeing T-shirts that would look better with striped sleeves and cats on them, get on Microsoft Paint, and draw the shirts with the cats they needed. Unsatisfied with my fashion flats, I asked my family to teach me how to hand sew in third grade. I immediately made a beautiful kimono/grocery store produce section employee smock out of a Kelly green knit, rainbow ribbon and brown cord. It was awesome and empowering. Fortunately, designing still feels the same for me.

CF: How would you describe your aesthetic?

EB: I’ve made mostly soft and feminine designs, but am planning on moving towards designing outdoor and protective wear. Currently I’m blown away by the Sacai x NikeLab collaboration. The flow of the garments is hypnotic and I’ve been watching their videos on repeat. Although I want my designs to look great, I want them to improve the quality of life for their wearers and hopefully save some lives. So function first, aesthetic next.  

CF: Where do you see yourself in the future?

EB: I hope to run a protective wear design lab, working with both fibers and design. It would be amazing to be part of a think tank of designers and scientists with my goals, and hopefully that’s what my design lab would be. My goal is to either give a TED talk or be on NPR. 

CF: Where do you shop?

EB: Thrift stores for life. Especially Goodwill. It’s fun to look for the original inspiration of today’s trends such as ’80s mom jeans, faux fur coats and halter tops. I love those and their roomy pockets. If I need basics though, I shop at Nordstrom. 

CF: What is your favorite statement piece?

EB: My mom jeans in the pictures of me. Unfortunately, they weren’t part of the thrift store’s pants sale because they were put in “Halloween Costumes.” I ripped them myself with my pocket saw.

Learn More: Emelia Black will be showing at her first semi-professional runway show this April, the Cornell Fashion Collective. You can check out her website, as well as see past designs, that as a dress completely made of condoms, that your’s truly modeled in a benefit runway during Aids Awareness week.