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A Fresh Take

On Vintage Inspired Threads

The fashion industry is always on the lookout for fresh talent, and there is nothing quite as exciting as discovering an emerging designer with a unique perspective and fresh ideas. This is exactly the case with Zach Stevens, a new on-the-scene designer who is currently enrolled in the merchandising program at Colorado State University. Despite being relatively unknown, Zach has been making waves in the industry with his unconventional designs and passion for sustainable fashion. Get ready to discover a rising star with us in the interview below.

LS: What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion design?

Zach: The very first fashion show that I attended I knew that something in the fashion industry was my calling. It was Colorado State University’s Merchandise and Design’s senior capstone fashion show. I was in attendance watching the show, and every aspect was so powerful and inspiring for me. For the first time ever I told myself that I have found something that I wanted to turn into a career and that was fashion design.

LS: How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Zach: A blend of Rock ’n’ roll, punk rock, and Art Nouveau

LS: Can you walk me through your creative process when designing a new collection or garment?

Zach: The first thing I do is some market research and identify my customer. Whatever category I’m designing I like to see what other designers are making or garments that are out there already in the market. This can give you information on what sold well or not. This can also provide direction and information on construction and what fabrics are preferred. Knowing your customer is everything. I will create a fictitious person that I’m designing for and study their socioeconomics and demographics. This information provides a rich starting point because your customers' lives are defined by these things. Now the fun part begins, the creative research which shapes the theme and overall look of the collection. I enjoy finding this information at libraries and find myself researching rebel painters from the pre-Raphaelite era to early 20th-century painters. I seem to always pair this with rock and roll and or punk rock cultural dress. I will start creating an inspiration board, a mood board, and a color board. My goal is to bring new designs and innovative utilitarian designs to garments

LS: How do you incorporate sustainability and ethical practices into your design process?

Zach: For my senior capstone collection, I sourced my fabrics from SwatchOn. They offer a range of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics. When I could, I used cellulose textiles in substitution for petroleum-based synthetic textiles.