Just last month, several Baltimore Design School students had the opportunity of a lifetime to further their education at the White House, where they met some of the biggest names in the fashion world, as well as the First Lady.
At the first ever Fashion Education Workshop, 10 BDS sophomores—each enrolled in the school’s fashion class—joined other students from East Coast schools in touring the White House, and enjoying specialized panels and workshops (among them were technology in fashion, journalism, and more).
So which big names in the fashion world participated in the event? Maci Thomas, class of 2017, met Anna Wintour, Lucky magazine editor-in-chief Eva Chen, and even ate lunch with one of the creators of ModCloth.
Other top designers included Zac Posen, Jason Wu, Phillip Lim, Diane Von Furstenberg, Thom Browne, Sara Blakely, Tracy Reese, and Prabal Gurung.
“I felt really important,” Colette Lewis, class of 2017 said. “I was like, ‘this is really an honor to be here with all of these people,’ and this doesn’t happen every day, so, it was really cool to be there.”
During the panels, a guest blogger interviewed the fashion gurus, who also took questions from the audience.
“I think the best part was hearing all the designers on the panel talk,” Quentin Klein-Alfano, class of 2017, said while showing off his notebook, which included an autograph and sketch from designers. “It really made me think about like what I was capable of as a designer. Then I got to talk to a few of them after.”
Classmate Edison Estes took a lot away from the panel as well.
“I really liked watching the designers get interviewed in the panel,” Estes said. “I’ve heard work hard and you’ll get what you want all my life, but these designers, they were talking about how working hard had gotten them to be the owners of billion dollar fashion corporations.”
Michelle Obama, who lead the event as part of her “Reach Higher” education initiative, emphasized a similar message during her speech, which also seemed to resonate with the students.
“Michelle Obama taught me that you have to work hard in order to achieve success,” Alexandria Wingate, class of 2017, said in reference to the First Lady’s speech. “You can’t slack off because that’s stopping you from where you want to be at in the future.”
And with such an impressive roster of some of the most influential leaders in the fashion industry, it’s no surprise that some of the students were a little star struck. When asked who she was most excited to meet, Bryanne Kelly, class of 2017, responded, “Everyone. I was just happy to be there.”