By Sarah Appel, CAHNRS Academic Programs
It’s that one t-shirt most people have. The one that jumps out at an unsuspecting shopper who can’t resist but fork over money for the piece of clothing. After being worn three times, the shirt is stretched and faded.
This type of clothing is what inspired senior WSU Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles (AMDT) student Danielle Hoblin to enter the world of fashion, design, and sewing.
“I really hate throwing things away,” Danielle said.
She likes to take everything and think about it before throwing or giving it away. She asks herself “What could I do with this that’s different and how can I make this into something that’s not going to fall apart?”
Years ago, this wasn’t the case. As a “jeans and hoodie” type of girl, Danielle hated shopping and everything about it. That changed after her first sewing course in her high school home economics class. What she thought was going to be an “easy A type class” turned out to be one of her favorite courses where she quickly picked up sewing.
“In my head, it was ‘I can’t draw. I can’t paint. I don’t know how to do this stuff.’” Danielle said. “But I didn’t realize there was another track to go. Technical work makes a lot more sense to me than the art aspect.”
This newfound hobby became her passion; something she was willing to work on in and out of the classroom. During her senior year, she used save-up ties to sew a dress for a sustainability project. This pushed Danielle into designing fervor.
Four years later, that commitment to sustainability and non-disposable clothing still sits at the forefront of Danielle’s designs. For the upcoming AMDT Mom’s Weekend Fashion Show on April 12, Danielle is preparing six designs that incorporate a balance between “real people” and re-usable designs.
The underlying inspiration for her line came to her while she was visiting an army surplus store with her dad. While shopping for a bag, Danielle caught a glimpse of an old-style, navy jumpsuit. When she looked at the jumpsuit, she knew she wanted to base her designs off that outfit.
“I really like the jumpsuit look, but I have never been able to pull it off,” explains Danielle. “The elastic waist and ruching on the top don’t fit me right. So, I thought it would be fun to do something with this navy jumpsuit.”
That jumpsuit inspired two different styles of jumpsuits for Danielle’s designs for the fashion show. These two, combined with two other workwear and two formalwear outfits complete Danielle’s lineup. It isn’t just the clothing she was specific about; it was the models as well.
Instead of choosing models that were similarly sized and shaped, Danielle purposefully chose unique women, women who don’t match the stereotypical model to demonstrate the usability of her designs for the average woman.
This is the mindset that Danielle hopes will carry through the rest of her career. As she enters the professional industry, she plans to design clothing that doesn’t fall apart in the first year of use and is flattering on all body types.
“I want to make clothing that is going to last forever, that everyone is still going to want to come back for because they’re loyal to the brand that’s actually serving them well in life,” she said.