The Department of Art & Design is collaborating with the Montclair Center BID to include Montclair State University Fashion Studies students in the Annual Fashion Night. Recent graduates Raena Loper and James Duffy showcased some of their own fashion designs while other Art and Design student participants will be helping with social media, production, photography, and event planning. Montclair Fashion Night was held at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair Township, on Sunday, September 25th.
Raena Loper ‘16 recently graduated from Montclair State University as a Fashion Studies and Women and Gender Studies double major. Loper currently works for Michael Kors and is also a freelance designer. She was an intern at O, The Oprah Magazine, designed for Miss New Jersey Earth, and was also awarded 1st place in the Montclair State Design Competition in 2016.
Loper combines her passion for feminism and design to create clothing that represent all women, regardless of their shape or size. Her current collection, which will be presented at Montclair Fashion Night, emphasizes the beauty of all women, presenting 6 looks that incorporate cocktail dresses and evening gowns. Her designs are made from a variety of textures, silhouettes, and textiles.
Prof. Abbey Lillethun invited her to participate in the event, and after several years of competing in the Fashion Studies Annual Fashion Show at Montclair State, Loper was ready to showcase her work to a larger audience.
Loper’s advice to all students of fashion seeking to take the next step in their careers is to ask themselves, “Why not me?” “That is a question I would constantly ask myself when I wasn’t sure if I was good enough. The worst thing you could do is not try. I was able to intern for O, The Oprah Magazine, win competitions, and even travel across the world because I didn’t let the fear of failure stop me,” shared Loper.
Work by Fashion Studies alumnus James Duffy ’16.
James Duffy, 23, recently graduated from Montclair State University as a Fashion Studies major with a Design minor. He has interned with True Divinity Showroom, Marchesa, and worked as a freelance illustrator for Bloomingdales. James currently works as a freelance designer. His friends and their personalities, as well as daily life have inspired his current collection, which will be featured on the runway of Montclair Fashion Night Out.