2019 Designer Profiles: Andrew Chang
Every year, the MODA Fashion Show wraps up winter quarter with the perfect homage to student talent, hard work and creativity. In anticipation of the show, we have been interviewing some of the designers involved in this year’s show. Meet Andrew Chang, the MODA Blog’s assistant EIC and a member of the Designer Bootcamp Program!
Andrew is a second year English major from Toronto, Canada!
What are some sources of inspiration for your collection?
I started designing the collection simultaneously with a reading of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I was intrigued by the character of Ophelia who I found always managed to remain resilient in times of incredible hardship. I think, much like in Hamlet, there are often uncontrollable difficulties that surround us all, but what keeps me grounded are the people in my life who fight through those difficulties and who embrace them as opportunities. Those people are like knights to me, heroes who use their skills to protect others. My collection is a love letter to those knights: armour-clad heroes who wear their difficulties as part of their personas, those who serve to defend, to empower and to make the darkest times lighter.
Have you ever done fashion design work before? What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the process?
I haven’t done too much serious fashion design. I’ve always loved the art behind fashion illustration and I think it wasn’t a steep jump to get into the design process of my own collection. However, it’s much more difficult than I had thought to translate a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional item. With a drawing, I can alter whatever I want to produce the image that makes me happy, but with fashion design, I find that whatever alterations I make needs to take into account the comfort and happiness of the wearer as well, and that’s something I never really had to think about before. Seeing those designs come to life makes all the struggle worth it though. It’s like I’ve reached the perfect balance between pleasing my own personal vision and pleasing the wearer as well.
What are you looking forward to most about the show?
Oh my god, I can’t wait to see my models work their looks. I’ve said since the beginning that my models are part of my creative team; they really do breathe life into the costume and they bring out the persona behind my designs. They’re some of the fiercest people I’ve ever met and I am so excited to see how they contribute to my collection.
Who do you have in mind when you’re designing?
It’s hard to pinpoint one particular woman or man when it comes to my designs. My muse is someone who isn’t afraid of what they’re wearing, someone who enjoys standing out, and someone who understands their own power and the effect that fashion has on that power. I love people who develop their own kind of persona through how they conduct themselves, but then at their core, they’re still genuine and kind; those are the people who I’ve always admired and the people who make me feel the most empowered in my own life as well.
If you could give yourself any advice on the design process, what would you say to your younger self?
Trust the people around you. You are surrounded by some of the most creative, intelligent and empowering designers, models and staff, and they will all contribute to your design process in unique ways. Once you start thinking you’re alone, it’s going to be harder for you to be productive, so trust your team and you will succeed.
What’s your favorite aspect of the design process?
Haha, when I get something right and all the pieces fit together correctly I breathe a huge sigh of relief. There have definitely been a couple instances where I had to completely rethink or remake a garment, so when I get them right, I can’t complain.
All images courtesy of Andrew Chang.