NYC Fashion Week hosts two KSU alumni

Danielle DeBord

Two Kent State alumnae showed their collections at New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Saturday. Michelle Pajak-Reynolds and Britini Brocker were two of the 36 designers who worked with Plitzs, a merchandising company that focused on independent designers, Brocker said.

Pajak-Reynolds is now finishing her MBA at Baldwin-Wallace, but graduated from Kent State in 2001 with a BSA with a concentration in jewelry metals and also received a minor in marketing.

Pajak-Reynolds originally started out at Kent State majoring in fashion design with a minor in jewelry.

“I really wanted something that would be more of an heirloom,” Pajak-Reynolds said.

She has owned her own jewelry company, called Michelle Pajak-Reynolds, since 1999. Her business has many “unique” collections.

“It’s all one-of-a-kind pieces,” Reynolds said.

Pajak-Reynolds said she recently created the Water’s Edge collection, which used driftwood from Lake Erie. She does about two “one-of-a-kind” collections a year and the rest of her jewelry is custom.

“What I do really helps them create a vision for themselves,” Pajak-Reynolds said.

Pajak-Reynolds said she reached out to Brocker and found out she was working at Fashion Week. Brocker invited Pajak-Reynolds and they coordinated their collections together, Brocker said.

“We just connected and hit it off; our work complemented each other,” Pajak-Reynolds said.

Brocker majored in fashion design and graduated from Kent State in 2008. Brocker designed for Abercrombie, but stopped in January. She now owns BBG Couture and does custom bridal wear.

“I’ve always dreamed of designing for the red carpet,” Brocker said.

For the show, Brocker designed eight short dresses, two evening gowns, three “high-fashion” dresses, seven bridal dresses and the dress she wore to the event. Brocker said some of her dresses were previously designed, so it took her about two to three weeks to prepare for the event.

One of Pajak-Reynolds’ main pieces she designed was called Splendor. It was a halter piece and took about 200 hours to construct, Pajak-Reynolds said. There was 400 ft. of bead, pearls and fabric, and it has to be constructed on a dress form.

Pajak-Reynolds’ jewelry can take from 12 to hundreds of hours to construct, depending on the piece, she said.

For another look at the collections, visit and

Contact Danielle DeBord at [email protected].