Fashion Design and Merchandising major, Aryanna Salmon first heard about Newark Fashion Week from the Department of Art & Design Associate Professor, Dr. May Chae in August. Aryanna acted quickly and immediately applied for this opportunity. But due to a family emergency abroad, Aryanna didn’t start working on her collection until August 27th, when she finally got home. She had about a month to prepare for the competition. But when there’s a will, there’s a way!
“My collection was originally inspired by my mom’s Peruvian-Indigenous heritage. After the family emergency this summer where I almost lost my mom, it means so much more now. It represents perseverance, strength, and determination. The name of my collection, “Saphi” is Quechua for the word “roots.” My great grandmother spoke Quechua and it’s a dying native language so it was important to reflect that in my collection as well. This collection is a true reflection of my culture and me.”
“When I won first place, it meant so much to me. It made me feel that all my hard work paid off and that all things happen for a reason. Despite how bad things were, I remained diligent and didn’t give up, and I believe that spirit showed through in my work. It was not only a win for me but it was a win for my mom and my family too. It’s very important to get recognition for the indigenous culture in Peru. I grew up in a hard working family with tough environments, coming from places where my skills never got noticed. Being at Montclair State University, this school has strengthened my skills and given me so many opportunities. During the MSU Spring ‘23 Fashion Show, I also won First place in my class (ARTX 226). If it wasn’t for the Fashion Department, I wouldn’t have been at NFWF and received my 2nd win in a year. The professors here have taught me so much and I’m forever thankful for them and their guidance. It gives me much hope for my future and I’m excited about what other opportunities will come my way. This journey made me feel proud of being a young designer and showing people who I am and what I can become!”
Aryanna Salmon was born in Paterson, raised in the Parsippany/West Caldwell area, and now lives in Wharton. She’s a commuter, in her 5th year at MSU, minoring in Visual Art and Japanese. She also works 2 jobs to pay for her education. Her other passions include making music with her metal band Wysteria, drawing, jewelry-making, photography, and graphic design.”