CYC youth and families saw the future of fashion through the eyes of several creative CYC students at a fashion show at CYC-Elliott Donnelley Youth Center in mid-May. The event was held in partnership with Remake Learning Days Chi.
Thanks to generous funding provided by Cognizant last spring, CYC has been training the next generation of designers and free thinkers through our “Making the Future of Fashion” program at the Center. For a full year, 15 CYC students have been learning how to brainstorm fresh fashion ideas, plan out the execution process, and use technology to bring their designs to life.
First the students gained a base understanding of colors. Then, they start expanding their horizons on how to work with “wearables” like jewelry, dresses, pants, shoes, etc.
“It’s a very powerful club to facilitate STEAM teaching and learning,” said Steven Willis, CYC STEM Manager, who led the program. “I’ve seen students develop interests and work ethics. I’ve seen a growth in their ability to communicate their desires to create in the Maker Lab. I’ve seen collaboration as they work together to solve problems.”
Youth used the Maker Lab’s 3D printer to create jewelry and learned how to work sewing machines. Some students even learned how to recreate popular branding on their clothes and used acrylic paint to produce their own shoe creations.
Omari, 15, made three shirts and a pair of shoes for the fashion show. He said he was inspired by his favorite YouTube channel and his “competitive spirit.” Dymin, 9, drew inspiration from her favorite color to make her own unique blue dress for the show.
Leading up to the big fashion show in May, which featured a runway, lights, and a DJ from the Center’s music program, the students were determined to impress the audience with the effort they had put in throughout the year. Community members came to watch them strut their designs.
“It’s important for young people to realize that their creations and creativity and voice are significant and celebrated by their community of peers and adults,” said Steven.