Fiery Designer Combines Form and Function

by Joe Cooper
Fashion School Review Columnist

April 27, 2007

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Besides technical skills and the opportunity to participate in fashion shows, fashion school can serve as a launch pad for student clothing lines. Just ask Shelly Joe, a fiery young fashion designer.

Igniting Her Fashion Career
There's no reason you can't start your own clothing line before you graduate from fashion school. Student Shelly Joe, still in her last year of fashion school, has already designed her own brand of fireproof clothing. Aimed at a unique demographic--entertainers who work with fire--Joe's label, Ignite, incorporates flame resistance and hot style into an integrated design.

Fashion and Function
Recently, Joe showcased her designs in a fashion school graduate show, where she not only got to model her own clothing, but also had the opportunity to give interviews afterwards. According to the Richmond News, Joe first learned to sew from her grandmother, and later in life started performing with fire after being inspired by the sport. The combined passions have sparked an interest in the technical side of fashion design--how fashion and function blend to create a great product.

Random Areas of Fashion Design
Joe's pursuit of uniform design is by no means new among fashion designers. Ignoring fire performers and other extreme sport daredevils, you can find numerous markets for designers of uniforms and costumes, including:
  • Professional sports teams
  • Elementary and secondary students
  • Hospitality staff
  • Airline staff
  • Healthcare staff

While such markets might seem random to the uninitiated, to fashion designers, they represent potential gold mines. With so many different opportunities to incorporate form and function into unique designs, fashion school is an ideal launch pad for those looking to make a living in fashion. Shelly Joe is living proof of that.


About the Author
Joe Cooper is a freelance education and technology writer and edits medical literature. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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