Student Spotlight: Valeria Baker
Valeria Baker initially came to College of DuPage for some college-level ESL classes that would help improve her English skills.
“While I was waiting to meet with a counselor, I was looking through the class schedule booklet and found out that fashion design was taught at COD,” she said. “My interest changed as soon as I read about getting a degree at COD. That same day I took the required placement tests and I started school right away that week.”
Baker cannot remember a time when she wasn’t attracted to design work. Despite her interest in fashion, she originally chose a different path.
“My first drawings were mostly related to fashion and shoes. But for different circumstances, I decided to study graphic design after I graduated from high school,” she said. “I consider those studies as my platform that today got me writing a bit about my work. A natural love for anything design-related, mixed with a solid base on Graphic Design plus an outstanding passion for fashion, motivated me to enter the Fashion program at COD.”
During her second year at COD, Baker decided to push herself outside of her comfort zone and signed up for the Chicago Fashion Foundation 2013 competition. The experience brought her much more than she anticipated. She continued participating the following year and was able to show her piece at the finals as well.
“Thanks to the exposure I got from those two competitions and some more shows I participated in for two years, I was able to meet and work with many different photographers and models from different sectors of the industry in Chicago, from fashion and runway-experienced models to pageant models competing for Miss Illinois 2013 and 2014, as well as with new undiscovered great models.”
Baker graduated from the Fashion Studies program in 2014. In 2015, she was invited to show her spring 2015 collection at the annual COD fashion show and be part of the jury team.
“Judging my fellow classmates’ creations was a new and satisfactory experience for me,” she said.
Currently, Baker is participating in an international competition in Mexico and anticipating the results of an exciting project that are due in August.
“At the same time, my own company, MISOVA, is expanding and getting ready to sell pieces to the public. Our web page is working and we’re preparing to launch a ready-to-wear T-shirt collection. My brand strategist partner and I are working hard to grow our brand and keep it a Chicago-based clothing company.”
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