Kent State alumna shows collection at New York and Paris Fashion Week


Photo courtesy of Paige Meacham

Felicia Guadagni

Recent Kent State graduate Paige Meacham was nominated by the Kent State Fashion School to compete in the Supima Design Competition. The competition allowed Meacham to show her collection at both Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City and Paris Fashion Week.

The Supima Design Competition is a competition that aims to give exposure to emerging talent in the fashion industry. Meacham, who studied fashion design at KSU, was nominated as a graduating senior to represent Kent State University in the competition.

After showing her collection at both fashion weeks, The Kent Stater sat down to talk with Meacham about her experience at the competition and her plans moving forward as an up-and-coming designer.

Q: What takes place at the Supima Design Competition?

A: The top seven design schools each choose a graduating senior to represent their school in the competition. We are all provided with the same fabric, so we were all given denim, twill, corduroy, knit and shirting in their raw state. We were judged based on making each fabric into something different. It was really interesting to see because we were all given the same fabric and everyone made completely different looking collections.

Q: When did you create the collection shown at New York Fashion Week 2015?

A: The top seven design schools choose one graduating senior, so I was chosen during my last semester studying in Hong Kong. I started making all of the garments in the summer. I worked with J.R. Campbell and Dr. Hahn over the summer to create this collection.

Q: Did you have difficulty with the fabrics you were given to use?

A: I normally love designing outerwear and heavy coats. I loved it because I had never worked with eveningwear before, but being able to use those dense fabrics made it easier for me to come up with cool designs because I love sewing with that type of fabric.

Q: What was your inspiration for the collection?

A: I actually did all four study away programs offered by the Fashion School—Paris, Florence, Hong Kong and New York. The inspiration for the collection began with traveling. I had this idea that when you travel, you shed your layers and then you form new layers. I actually had this idea since I left for Paris, but I didn’t really know when I would use it. I really wanted to play with this layered idea and that’s how I came up with the ruffled technique in my designs. I started digging a little deeper and went back through all my photographs I took from my travels and I began to pick my favorite photo from each place. That’s how I came up with creating my own prints from my own original photography. Each garment is actually a photo from a different place—one is even Kent, Ohio. I really wanted to incorporate my whole college experience into this collection.

Q: How did you score in the competition?

A: They don’t really rate anyone and they only pick one winner, who was from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) this year. But I got a lot of positive feedback and I was really happy with this collection.

Q: What other schools were represented at the Supima Design Competition?

A: The six other schools were: Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), PRATT BF+DA, The Academy of Art, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Q: How are you able to show your collection at Paris Fashion Week?

A: It is still through the Supima Design Competition. They are always willing to take our collections over to Paris Fashion Week after New York Fashion Week, so it is up to us if we want to go. And of course, how many times do you get to say you shared your collection at Paris Fashion Week? So, my mom, my grandma and I decided to make a trip out of it. We are spending a week over there and I’m showing on Oct. 2.

Q: What are your plans going forward?

A: I love everything in fashion—the merchandising side, the design side, really the whole industry. I’ve done so many internships to try to narrow down what I like, but I realized I like everything. I would love to stay away from New York City and move out to the Pacific Northwest or out of the country to work. I would love to work for a corporate office and design for them for a little bit so I could learn to edit myself a little more. But, my long-term dream would be to open a boutique out west with my sister, who studies textiles fibers at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Felicia Guadagni is the fashion reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].