Name: Madeline Kaplan
School: Drexel University, B.S. Fashion Design, class of 2016
Since she was five, Madeline (Maddy) Kaplan had a love for designing clothes. Maddy, who graduated from Drexel University with a fashion design B.S. in 2016, continues to pursue the passion that ignited when she learned how to sew at The Handwork Studio.“When I was 5 years old I would staple fabrics together, and soon after I learned how to hand sew,” she said. “I would transform things like pant legs into scarves, and would add embellishments. I started going to lessons with Laura Kelly at her home and that's when I truly discovered my love for this world of creativity.”
Today, Maddy works as a fashion designer specializing in children’s apparel. Rather than her inspiration stemming from as specific element, she finds people and items she encounters throughout her everyday life inspiring.
“Colors and fabrics also give me a lot of inspiration, and I frequently use that as my jumping off point,” she said.
Maddy said she is most proud of her designs from her senior collections at Drexel.
“I designed and created an award winning kids collection,” she said. “It is whimsical and fun. I really stayed true to myself as a designer.”
Although an award-winning designer, Maddy encountered obstacles while completing her degree at Drexel. One of her biggest challenges: a tailored coat.
“I picked a really complex design, when most of my classmates stuck to more simple silhouettes,” she said. “My design looked like one piece from the back, but in the front it had a separate cape. Halfway through constructing it, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out how to make it functionable.”
Despite her challenges, she persevered and completed her piece.
“It turned out just as I had imagined it in my head, and it gave me an enormous sense of pride knowing that I was able to construct something like that,” she said.
Maddy finds that her fashion design mindset allows her to view the world differently than others.
“I look at everyday objects, and more frequently than not, I think about cool designs I could associate with them,” she said. “In my mind, design is everywhere--when you’re walking down a street, when you’re eating breakfast, what you’re thinking about right before you go to bed. It surrounds us everyday.”
In regards to advice for aspiring fashion designers Maddy said, “Stay true to yourself. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s really the best advice someone can give. Since I graduated, I’ve faced several challenges. The fashion industry is extremely fast paced and hectic. There’s always a lot going on and sometimes you fall behind. You just have to focus on yourself and what makes you happy in the long run. You have to find your niche and where you fit in. That’s what’s really important.”
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