Students create identity with IDesigns


Sophomore exploratory major Deja Jones (left) and sophomore fashion merchandising major India Pineiro lay on a pile of clothes they designed for their company IDesign, on Wednesday, Oct.19, 2016. 

Keisha Burley

When fashion merchandising major India Piñeiro and exploratory major Deja Jones met, they knew that they were destined to be business partners.

After transferring to Kent State last fall, the two sophomores began to customize their own clothing. From hats to T-shirts to dresses, if it can be customized, the girls will create it. When they started receiving multiple compliments and inquiries about their gear, they decided it would be a fun idea to sell some of their creations. Thus, IDesigns was born.

“We call it IDesigns because of my first name and Deja’s first name. The ‘I’ and ‘D’ are capitalized on purpose to represent us being the designers,” Piñeiro said.

IDesigns works in two ways. A customer can either ask for a made from scratch, custom piece of clothing or they can hand in a piece of their own clothing and have the girls revamp it.

The pieces most often include bleaching, distressing or a combination of both.

“We kind of have it down to a science,” Jones said. “Not to say any one piece is going to look the same as the next, but we’ve gotten our techniques down so we … know who’s good at doing what.”

When attending the Kanye West concert in Cleveland earlier this semester, senior fashion merchandising major Champaigne Powell turned to IDesigns to give her the perfect outfit for a night out.

“I had a plain black T-shirt dress, but it was too plain to wear to a concert,” Powell said. “I dropped off a plain black garment and I picked up a perfectly distressed dress that was styled perfectly and was exactly what I was looking for. I got so many compliments on my outfit that night.”

While brainstorming ways to get the word about their business out, Piñeiro and Jones took a different approach to promoting their brand by turning a birthday party into a product release party as well.

“It was India’s birthday and also, IDesigns part one,” Jones said. “At the party, we released different colored shirts and hats and different concepts that a lot of people aren’t doing right now.

“We think it’s really important that our customers know we appreciate them, so we even gave away some of this new merchandise for free to some of our guests. Sort of like a, ‘Hey, thanks for coming to support us’ type of gift.”

The two have also directed photoshoots and promotional videos, all in hopes to reach a larger crowd. They also use their personal social media accounts to promote their designs, using Instagram to showcase their latest creations.

“We had someone from Dubai ask us for a piece of our clothing,” Piñeiro said. “Unfortunately, shipping the clothes there cost $45, so it didn’t end up working out. But just to know that someone from across the world is interested in our stuff is amazing.”

Customization of clothing is a huge trend right now all over the world, and more and more businesses are starting to introduce distressed clothing lines.

Gargi Bhaduri, an assistant professor of fashion design and merchandising at Kent State, believes the reason for the current popularity of the trend is because of the need for customers to feel they are different.

“None of the millennials want to look the same,” Bhaduri said. “They want their own individual look … In relation to jeans, distressing has been there forever. In general, I think there’s a trend for looking more rustic or rugged so that type of look is really big right now.”

Keisha Burley is the student life reporter, contact her at [email protected].