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Fashion Tech Students: Fiona Shine Duncan, Emerald Garcia, Alison Benavides Lopez and Jaileen Mercado

Peers + Pros Project, a Boston Fashion Week creative learning initiative | Art & Design

Jaileen Mercado

“I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to meet and work with Jay Calderin, and working with peers at Boston Arts Academy. I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone and work with colors differently. I am one who typically works with darker colors and was pushed to try working with more lively colors, and ended up loving the results.” “It was exciting to work with the team at MIT Museum Maker Hub to design 3D printed elements and learning how to navigate software. I was very proud to share the moment our work came down the runway with my friends and my teacher, Mrs. Polito, who taught me everything I know.” 

Emerald Garcia

“I actually liked the meetings because they were very interactive. They helped me get out of my comfort zone.” “I loved meeting Jane Wilkinson [Executive Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT] and learning about the Koch Institute.” “Learning how to design something using the 3D printer was challenging but worth the effort. I was very proud of myself for learning how to use the software.” 

Alison Benavides Lopez

“Collaboration is important. I learned to communicate with people who were part of the process. I liked being able to talk over what I could improve and using the feedback to revise my designs.” “The experience of seeing my work on the runway made it all feel very real. It was crazy how all my sketching, questions and hard work allowed me to share my work with the community.”

Fiona Shine Duncan

"The professional aspect of the program was something that I was grateful for.  Trying to break into the fashion industry as a young adult is incredibly hard. You don't get a lot of professional opportunities like this, so this experience was beyond incredible. I learned a lot about the industry and the process that you don't learn in school.” “Once we learned that this project was focused on sustainability and creating zero-waste garments it pushed us all to think outside of the box. This was new to all of us, so having the opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other was very helpful. We also had to keep in mind that we were creating a collection as a group, not as individuals.  So collaborating to make sure it all tied together was important. Collaborating with the experts also allowed us to have access to technology and information that helped us with our designs.”   “I was emotional when the designs started to come down the runway.  The final garments and fabrics were more incredible than I ever expected. Seeing something you helped create, and your designs on a runway is an indescribable feeling. I knew right then that fashion design was what I wanted to do for a career.” 


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