Q&A with designer Grace Ahn
Filed under: Fashion
February 2, 2015
2014, Associate of Applied Arts, Fashion Design, The Art Institute of Dallas, a campus of South University
"[My education] has really allowed me to gain so much knowledge with the physical sewing, drawing, and patternmaking—and the digital side of all of those. It’s in our best interest to know how to do all of the above [and] do it well."
Grace Ahn grew up watching her parents’—both exquisite tailors—taking garments apart and putting them back together. She viewed it as surgery—and still does. While she was surrounded by fashion as a child, she says that the most important trait that she gained from her parents was discipline.
Grace’s parents were only able to get an elementary level education. Through their example, she’s come to understand that great things are possible through dedication and hard work. Grace is an intern at Stanley Korshak, where she works to surpass expectations through her drive and motivation to reach for more—for better—each day.
The Art Institutes: Who will your collection appeal to?
Grace: [My target customer] is smart, quietly confident, boss-like, with a business mind-set, and carries an extremely strong presence that never goes unnoticed—whether it’s wanted or unwanted. He expects the finest quality clothing with exquisite but quiet details, just as the looks in [my collection, "Resolution," provide].
The Art Institutes: Describe your design process for this collection.
Grace: It all started with, "What would I wear if I were a male?" Something that represents confidence, pride, and style—but doesn’t scream it. I’m all about the classic, simple, clean look but with a modern day twist. And what’s more classic than black and white? The modern twist for color was a mustard yellow—stylish yet masculine.
I am obsessed with textured fabrics. There’s something about it—it goes beyond the look, and gives you something to not just see, but really feel. Combining different textured fabrics creates something magical.
The Art Institutes: Describe how your education prepared you for this opportunity.
Grace: During my menswear class, I had some "a-ha" moments. Before then, I was able to put the pieces together [but] during that course is when I truly understood how. [I also learned] the reason behind putting the pieces together for not just garments, but patterns as well.
[My education] has really allowed me to gain so much knowledge with the physical sewing, drawing, and patternmaking—and the digital side of all of those. It’s in our best interest to know how to do all of the above [and] do it well.
The Art Institutes: Which designers inspire you?
Grace: Tom Ford’s clean, crisp, and perfectly made designs inspire me to make all and every part of the garment flawlessly. Alexander Wang’s crazy, cool, out of the box designs are also inspiring. Chanel is always classically original. Balmain is edgy, sexy, and simply amazing.
The Art Institutes: What design blogs or publications do you read?
Grace: [When] I’m feeling in need of inspiration I always go to Pinterest. [It not only has] images of fashion, but pictures of fashion incorporated with other things, like nature, architecture, and novels.
The Art Institutes: How are you preparing for the runway event? What challenges are you experiencing?
Grace: I’m continuously observing, in detail, all the different garments by different designers that I see close-up with my work at J’s Tailor & Cleaners—and also [at] my internship site, Stanley Korshak in the Men’s Shak. They both carry the most modern, up to date, high quality designers.
I am learning all the different ways designers make use of different pieces. It’s always interesting to see a piece of a garment used in a way you never thought of.
It’s a runway fashion event, but it’s funny how [important] social media is. It’s been a bit difficult trying to lead up to the event and build anticipation within "viewers," but I am continuously learning more and more about public relations and social media.
Stream the show live at 8PM on Tuesday, February 17. Find out how—and get the date on your calendar!
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