Austin Fashion Designers, Boutiques and Industry Fashionably Austin - Austin Fashion Connected

The annual University of Texas Fashion Show is one of the most anticipated fashion events in town.  Call it a rite of Spring.  The young creative senior designers are fueled by the excitement, deadlines and adrenaline to get to show day every April.  The fashion show is the end of a fashion project for some but the start of a career for others.

The event has grown substantially through the years.  In 1997, the first UT fashion show was produced. According to Eve Nichols, UT Program Director, Apparel Design department, the event was a small gathering of students and friends/faculty and there wasn’t that much hype. More like going to your child’s dance recital. A couple of years later when it moved to the Frank Erwin Center, attendance soared and it became a full city-wide press covered event.  You can expect more than four thousand people to attend the show and the best part?…is that it admission is FREE!  In 2010, Fashionably Austin started webcasting the show and it enabled even more friends and family to enjoy seeing their design student walk the runway. Fashionably Austin will again webcast the show.

The students named their show Contour.  The collections from the twenty-three senior designers will be featured and the pieces/collections will also be competing for numerous awards.  Best overall collection, best marketed collection, best bridal design, etc.  Some of these designers will take their awards and continue to work in the fashion business in the form of internships at some for some of the top fashion houses in New York and beyond.  One UT grad, Ross Bennett is now a cast member in the highly rated NBC show Fashion Star. He is not shy of his UT Texas roots and has, I think, won the heart of Texas judge Jessica Simpson.

We look forward to another great show!

Coop banner

Thank you so much to the University Coop for supporting the Fashionably Austin Webcast and the Class of 2012.

Thursday, April 19, 2012 – 8 pm. Doors to the Erwin arena open at 7:15 pm.
Fashion Alley – 6:30 pm in The Texas Room

Meet the 2012 University of Texas Fashion Designers!!

Jonathan Shakarisaz
Jonathan Shakarisaz

Hometown:  Austin, Tx
Major:  Textiles & Design
Name of Collection:  Bloody Tailoring

Favorite Designers:    Heidi Slimane, Rick Owens, Jean Paul Gaultier

Denim and Knit inspired collection of extreme tailored goods for the man who already has everything but needs something new to wear out. I was dissatisfied with the run of the mill clothing made available to me and sought to bring high end it mens fashion at a more reasonable price point to the forefront. It looks expensive, but is relatively easy to wear and even easier to make. Celean simple lines and effortless execution of complex ideas. I love construction, I will leave aesthetics to the wearer… make it your own now!

Previous Industry Experience:  Produced a graphics based T-shirt line, buyer for local Austin boutiques, Consultant for Mens International Clothing Markets, personal stylist Launch a fashion Empire and consult fellw designers in production and design. Plans after graduation:  Seriously pushing to go to McCombs School of Business for an MBA in Supply Chain!

Andi Conti
Andi Conti

Hometown:  Mansfield, TX
Major:  Textile and Apparel Design
Name of Collection:  Renascentia

My collection is “rebirth” in latin, which is essentially what happened during the design process.  Starting completely over mid-semester, I decided to go with my gut feeling and incorporate shiny fabrics, slinky knits and girlie touches.  My inspiration derives from all of the influential confident women in my life, which is exactly who would wear it.

Previous fashion experience: I had a fantastic experience interning with Jessica Ciarla of Austin’s  CIARLABride.  She taught me so many things from running your own business to small technicalities like cutting silk charmeuse!

Plans after graduation:  Moving to the big apple to intern with Lola Haze, a lingerie designer!

Favorite Designers:  Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, BCBG and Alexander Wang just to name a few.

Chandler Hamilton
Chandler Hamilton

Hometome:  Argyle, TX
Major:   Retail Merchandising Apparel Design
Name of Collection:  The Empowerment Line

The Empowerment Line is a Haiti inspired collection representing the growing movement behind providing artisan opportunities in the 4th world nation of Haiti. Three unique looks created solely with leather, coffee-dyed harem cloth, and burlap; this line portrays the strong, rugged spirits of our beautiful artisan women. The one-of-a-kind, custom-made jewelry pieces featured in the Empowerment Line were hand crafted by the very talented metal artisans of Haiti themselves. My intent in the creation of this line was to inspire people to donate and be a supportive partner in allowing the artisan opportunities of Haitian Creations to expand and flourish. For more information on donating and supporting this movement, you can visit

Previous fashion experience:  I have been a stylist and events coordinator at Madewell for more than two years. I love this brand and have learned so much from my experience. Plans after graduation:   I will be moving to Haiti full time to work directly with the artisan women of Haitian Creations. I will be working on design concepts for the brand, teaching the women how to make these products, and working with an amazing team of people trying to make a difference in this beautiful 4th world nation.

Vivienne Hoang
Vivienne Hoang

Hometown:  Grand Prairie, TX
Major:  Textiles & Apparel Design, Retail Merchandising
Minor:  The McCombs Business Foundations Program
Name of Collection:   The Cold Queen

The Cold Queen Collection is filled with feminine silhouettes, soft textures, and peek-a-boo details all with a cold bite. Icy colors and sharp lines give a hint of edginess and sharpness proper for any queen.

Samantha Kidd

Hometown:  Plano, TX
Major:  Textiles & Apparel Design
Name of Collection:  Sūtra

I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot in the past year and for me that was the biggest creative stimulus.  Sūtra was inspired by Argentinian and Indian architecture.  I wanted to explore new mediums, and play with textures and different proportions.  By pushing myself technically and creatively, I still wanted to stay true to my personal aesthetic.  This collection is very much for the New York woman who wants luxe separates that can be mixed and matched and taken from day to night.  Incorporating lace, silk and leather I created multi-functional pieces and can stand alone or together

Previous fashion experience:  Interned for Dezine News Accessories in Dallas, interned at Marc Jacobs International in New York, and have also worked at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York for Spring 2011 and Fall 2012 runway shows.

Plans after graduation:  That is the million dollar question!  I plan on moving to New York to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

Favorite Designers:  Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci, Alber Elbaz, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler.

Danielle Vasquez
Daniela Vasquez

Hometown:  Round Rock, TX
Major:  Textiles and Apparel, Apparel Design
Name of Collection: Spinnerette

Spinnerette was inspired from my fondness of street fashion. It is cartoony Kings Road punk tempered with the colors and hodgepodge aesthetic of Japanese street fashions like Harajuku, more specifically the subsets known as fairy kei and dolly kei. The namesake is derived from the Hello Kitty-esque icon, a personified bow with spider appendages that will be featured as a print on the clothing. Subversive and sweet, the Spinnerette collection was created for adolescent girls who want to look unique, even within their own style tribe.

Favorite Designers:  Jun Takahashi, Meadham Kirchhoff, Vivienne Westwood, Elsa Schiaparelli, Olek

Lauren Stewart
Lauren Stewart

Hometown: Conroe, TX
Major:  Apparel Design Anthropology and Art History
Name of Collection:  Jet Set

My collection is inspired from the sleek silhouettes of the early 1960′s.  The colors and silk fabric inspirit the waters of the Côte d’Azur.  The pieces in the collection are resort wear intended to be worn by ladies on holiday traveling to fabulous destinations.

Favorite Designers:  Milly of New York

Plans after graduation:  I will be moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in fashion design.

Sara Essoufi
Sara Essoufi

Hometown:  Austin, TX
Major:  Apparel Design
Minor:  Business Foundations
Name of Collection:  Modern Femme

My inspiration began from contrasting images of things that were sweet and delicate to strong and hard. I wanted to create a visual design and silhouette for a woman that would exhibit her femininity and strength. I have chosen to use knit fabrics for the tops that would cling to the body and woven linen for the bottoms to give more structure. The kind of woman I want to wear these clothes is one who is playful and wants to feel confident in her clothes. She walks into a room and people notice her, her beauty and her strength.

Previous fashion experience:  I have worked at New York Fashion Week February 2010, interned with Austin Fashion Association, interned with Rachelle Briton Designs, worked at Austin Fashion Week, Tribeza Style Week, and was a sales associate at Nordstrom’s.

Favorite Designers:  Marc Jacobs is a great of mine, Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, Donatella Versace, Michael Kors, Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy, Frida Giannini for Gucci, and Alber Elbaz for Lanvin

Plans after graduation:  To work on my portfolio and get the best job I can working in the industry, no matter what city that may be in.

Rebekah Hoffer
Rebekah Hoffer

Hometown:  Beaumont, TX
Major: Textiles and Apparel
Name of Collection:  Psychedelic Mushrooms

I was inspired by the form and shape of six different types of mushrooms and translated the contour into my designs. I also focused on the decomposition aspect of fungi and chose to illustrate that by contrasting opaque fabrics with transparent fabrics. Lastly, I was inspired by the psychedelic color scheme that brings my collection to life. My client is a fun, daring and confident woman who is not afraid to be a little quirky and love every curve of her body.

Previous fashion experience:  Design Internship with Dania Heller in Tel Aviv, Israel
Merchandise Internship with Evan Steusand in Austin, Texas

Favorite designers:  Betsey Johnson, Balmain, Valentino Plans after graduation:  Internship in Austin, Texas (not yet decided with whom) and then the world!!

Stefant Phonthephasone
Stefant Phonthephasone

Hometown:  Haltom City, TX
Major:  Textiles and Apparel
Name of Collection: Chosen

My collection was inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena the Warrior Princess, and gothic architecture,. It plays with layering of leather, texture, and is very dark. It introduces a contradicting theme of constriction versus freedom and exhibits the feeling of maximalism using minimalist ideas. none I interned with Chromat and Rolando Santana in New York last summer.

Favorite Designers:  Rick Owens, Hussein Chalayan, Gareth Pugh, and Ricardo Tisci

Plans after graduation:  I plan experience the New York fashion industry.

Albert Zhou
Albert Zhou

Hometown:  Dallas,TX
Major:  Apparel Design
Minor: Business
Name of Collection:  Under the Crosshairs
My inspiration for my collection is espionage/spy work mixed with elements of tailored ready to wear.
I have two tailored men’s wear looks created by combining elements of technical fabric and pattern manipulation highlighted with one tailored avant grade women’s look.
Previous fashion experience:  I interned at XVada, an apparel print shop in Dallas during the summer of 2009.
While attending UT, I interned with an apparel brand called Kirin Clothing Collection. “
Favorite Designers:  Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh,
Plans after graduation:  I will continue my studies in fashion and the arts while finding a job that will expand my horizons.

Andrea Salazar
Andrea (Andie) Salazar

Hometown:  Austin, TX
Major:  Apparel Design and Multimedia Journalism Business Foundations Certificate

Name of Collection:  Three Faces West

Three Faces West is a collection inspired by the spirit and aesthetic of the old west, the ghost towns that still remain and the desert. The garments incorporate relevant details, such as crow feathers and fringe, that reminisce upon and stir thoughts of the era and locations on which the collection is based. These fall/winter pieces are created from leather and suede, and have a luxurious, natural feel. The woman who will wear my garments is sophisticated, savvy, collected and simply cool, for lack of a better word. She enjoys indulging in quality clothing and is always conscious of her appearance and looking sharp and pulled together. She likes garments that stand out and have an edgy feel. Well-spoken and an art enthusiast, this woman is between the ages of 20 and 35 and works in a creative field like graphic design. Collection featured in student filmmaker’s film project, titled “Beautiful.”

Previous fashion experience:  With my interest in fashion journalism, much of my experience is centered around fashion writing. I currently work as a style columnist for the online community news source, The Horn, and am a writer and stylist for the student-run online fashion magazine, Spark. I have interned for College Fashionista as well, documenting well-dressed students on campus, and have had the opportunity to assist on set at photo shoots for Tribeza magazine and for freelance stylist Cristina Facundo as an intern. To further my design experience, I spent a summer interning for local patternmaker Stephanie Merzon. As a member of the University Fashion Group, I have worked backstage at events in the Austin and university fashion scenes.
Favorite Designers:  I pretty much love everything that walks down the runway at Balmain, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler, to name a few.
Plans after graduation:  I hope to spend the summer interning in New York City as an editorial or fashion intern for a magazine.

Marissa Chapman
Marisa Chapman<

Hometown: Austin, TX
Major:  Apparel Design
Minor:  Business
Name of Collection:  Blooming Business
My collection brings together jewel tone jersey knits with a floral screen printed stretch lace and cream linen. It is a spring collection inspired by impressionist paintings and the floral print on the lace. I used floral shapes and textures in my collection to dictate silhouette, seam lines, and embellishments. This collection is geared towards professional women aged mid 20′s to mid 30′s who live in small cities or medium sized towns and work at small firms or offices. These clothes could also be worn by women in larger firms for casual Friday to look relaxed while still meeting the business fashion requirement.
Favorite Designers:  Betsey Johnson and Madeline Vionnet
Plans after graduation:   A short internship at an independent tailor for high end men’s wear. Network with local designers.

Kaidon Ho
Kaidon Ho

Hometown:  Seoul, South Korea & Corpus Christi, TX
Major:  Textiles and Apparel Design Business Foundations
Name of Collection: Rêves
My inspiration comes from a violent dream I had, which is the name of my collection in French. With the full moon on 8th of January and Neptune in Pisces quickly approaching, I’ve been having the weirdest dreams. This particular one, I randomly saw this beautiful quartz growing out of forest of black dirt. With this visceral reaction, I had to translate it into my achromatic collection. I’m using black silk chiffon, faux mohair fur, and wool to symbolize the natural and organic concept of my inspiration and vinyl and faux leather to symbolize something of more structure and architectural texture. I can see women and men of strong sense of self, feminism, and art wearing my pieces. Powerful women of our generation that can see the beauty that lies in the darkest forms of art and nature that are able to transcend feministic views into something of more masculine. “-
Previous fashion experience:
 -Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York for six seasons for Lela Rose, Timo Weiland, Project Runway, and Vassilios Kostetsos.
- Internshipwith Timo Weiland for FW 2011
- Internship with Dog & Pony Boutique with buying, styling, event planning, etc.
- Buyer for Buffalo Exchange, TX1
- Fashion production for Austin Fashion Week and local shows.
 -Internship with a local/NY stylist, Brandy Joy Smith.
Favorite Designers:  AF Vandervorst, Johnny Johansson (Acne), Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simmons (Jil Sander), Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Damir Doma, Giuliano Fujiwara, Junya Watanabe, Rei Kawakubo (Comme Des Garcons), Francisco Costa (Calvin Klein), Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy), Nicola Formichetti (Thierry Mugler), Haider Ackermann, Hussein Chalayan, Helmut Lang, Rad Hourani, Tatsuro Horikawa, Kimberley Ovitz, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (Proenza Schouler), Yoji Yamamoto, Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte)
Plans after graduation:  My ideal plan would be to leap across Atlantic go intern in London or Paris, but to save some troubles, I’m going to move to New York and explore more in the industry and build up a network that would allow me to gradually move to Europe in the future. I want to intern with a major design houses in New York with flat patterning/draping/illustrating but I would be open to doing some styling/accessories/buying/writing.

Ashley Trevino
Ashley Trevino

Hometown:  Sinton, TX
Major:  Apparel Design
Name of Collection: Casablanca

I was heavily inspired by the movie Casablanca and the 1940s Era in general.  I love the timeless lady like cuts that dominate this time.  For my collection I focused on creating resort wear that is classic, confident and luxurious for the modern fashionista.
Previous fashion experience:  Internships with Austin-based Chicka-d and CIARLAbride

Katrina Raz
Katrina Alexis Raz

Hometown:  Houston, TX
Major:  Apparel Design
Minor:  Business Foundations
Name of Collection:  stay calm and carry on
I took inspiration from the Aria Hotel’s (in Las Vegas) interior architecture. It was very organic and everything from the ceilings to the walls to the countertops stood out to me. I was also inspired laser paper cutouts. My fabric choices are sheer, silk organza, silk charmeuse, cotton gabardine, wool jersey, and ostrich feathers that I dyed. The kind of woman that I could see wearing my collection would be the kind of feminine, young lady that would go to galas at the MET or enjoy dressing a little fancier down the street in the Upper East Side. A young woman who might resemble Elizabeth Olsen.
Previous fashion experience:  Mary E. Gearing Scholarship in Human Ecology, 2011- 2012
C.J. Davidson Scholarship Fund, 2010 – 2011;  Junior Achievement Scholarship Award, 2008-2009
Previous fashion experience: I’ve dressed at NYFW for Timo Weiland and Lela Rose for Fall 2012 and Spring 2012 seasons. I also worked for the Front of House for Project Runway Finale last season.  I’ve done a pattern-making internship with Stephanie Merzon my sophomore year.
Favorite Designers:  Vera Wang, Krikor Jabotian, Elie Saab, Gary Graham
Plans after graduation:  After I graduate, I would like to land an internship in New York that is focused on designing spectacular dresses and landing full-time employment.

Tran Mai
Mai Tran

Hometown:  Houston, TX
Major:  Textiles and Apparel Design & Japanese
Name of Collection: Carousel of Dreams My inspiration was carousels. My collection consisted of three dresses paired with a waist corset. I used organza and chiffon to mimic the horses’ manes and tails. I made waist corsets out of upholstery fabric to represent the saddles.  They are made in three  bright colors to mirror the whimsical feeling of carousels.
Favorite Designers:  Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, John GallianoPrevious fashion experience :  Internship study abroad in Japan

Lauren Tullos
Lauren Tullos

Hometown:  Austin, TX
Major:  Textiles and Apparel–Design My collection was inspired by Hermes, the Greek messenger God. My fabric choices were predominately knits, composed of polyester, nylon, and rayon blends. Any athletic, busy, and stylish woman can wear my collection! I designed my collection with the Austin woman in mind — a woman who goes straight from the town lake trail, to yoga, to Whole Foods!

Janie Kang
Janie Kang

Hometown:  Austin, TX
Major:  Textile and Apparel Design
Minor:  Business Foundations
Name of Collection:  Let There Be Light Tailored look career wear that included digital printing inspired by different interpretations of light. This collection is filled with organic natural fibers such as silk and cotton, which were all personally hand dyed by me. Anyone from the 20′s who are fashion forward can wear this collection.

Sofia Maldonado
Sofia Maldonado

Hometown: McAllen, TX
Major: Textiles and Apparel Apparel Design
Collection: Mercado

My collection “Mercado” is Spanish for market.  It combines culture, passion and modernized 18th century mens and womenswear silhouettes. I use Salvadoran textiles in garments that have period dress influences in structure, but include modern twists. I’m half Salvadoran and had the opportunity to not only perform in but also design for a play that was set in the 18th century so those two things combined were the source of my inspiration and can represent me as a person and as a designer.

Previous fashion experience:
I interned with California native bridal and eveningwear designer and now Austinite, Jessica Ciarla of CIARLAbride. Her New York City style techniques mixed with her custom-driven business enriched and broadened my knowledge of the industry. I got to work on a variety of projects.

Plans after graduation:   I hope to intern for another designer in New York. I’d also eventually like to intern or work for a costume designer because I’d like to keep costuming in my future.

Loan Phuong Trinh
Loan Phuong Trinh

Hometown: Houston, TX
Major: Textiles and Apparel Design
Name of Collection: Fantasy Flare

The coat collection is inspired by the intricate designs of the characters’ attire from a role playing game (RPG) series called Final Fantasy. I wanted to bring the bold computerized designs to reality by making it wearable and realistic. Origami folding methods from the Shadowfolds book were used for the surface texture of the coats. Also, I was inspired by designer Jil Sander for her creative way of constructing her coats and forming different shapes to make her designs unique and functional.
The fabrics used for the coats were wool, hot boiled wool, antistatic lining,and taffeta for lining. Knit fabrics were used to create the two dresses, pants, and shirt accommodating the coats as well.

Previous fashion experience: I interned with Stephanie Merzon during the past summer. I learned how to create slopers, drafted custom patterns for various clients and companies, cut and label patterns properly, grading patterns, and sewing some mock ups and clothes after making the patterns. The experience gave me helpful techniques for flat patterning more efficiently and getting accustom to the curvatures and shapes of patterns.

Favorite Designers: My favorite designers are Valentino, Jil Sander, Madeleine Vionnet, and Stella McCartney.

Plans after graduation: I plan on finding a job or internship here in Austin or apply for graduate school.

Wendy Sandoval
Wendy Sandoval

Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Major: Textiles and Apparel/Apparel Design
Name of Collection: Charisma

My collection was inspired by 60′s dance music, the party life of young women. Flirtatiousness is featured in the collection which will certainly get your attention.

Plans after graduation: I’d like to have some time to travel on my own. It’s something that I’m already saving for and so, come January, I’ll be on a plane.

Harrison Koiwai
Harrison Koiwai

Hometown: Austin, TX
Major: Apparel Design
Name of Collection: Jane

This collection is intended to be an exploration of identity based on my childhood experiences.

Favorite Designer: Charles Worth

Plans after graduation: I plan to participate in more design internships with hopes to enter the fashion design industry.



Recent Articles by Cheryl Bemis: