Student Spotlight: Whitney Stahl
Major: Fashion Studies
Whitney Stahl has always been a creative person, even if her initial career path went in a different direction.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies but never lost touch with her artistic side. Having lived in Arizona, California, Colorado, South Carolina and Grand Cayman, Stahl returned to Lisle and enrolled in the Fashion Studies program at College of DuPage.
“Wearable and usable art is more exciting than something you put on a wall,” she said. “I wanted to learn everything about fashion. I wanted to know how to pick up fabric and scissors and make it perfect while exploring the innovative side of fashion business as well as the science behind it. My goal right now is to discover where I want to focus.”
It was during a bridal couture class at COD that Stahl and her classmates visited York Furrier in Elmhurst, which sparked an interest in fur that eventually led her to enter Remix 2018/2019, a global fur competition sponsored by the International Fur Federation. Stahl, who considers Kathy Rezny at York Furrier a mentor, worked with her encouragement on designs for a three-piece collection with a focus on nature, and she pushed herself to incorporate current trends.
“Remix is an exciting opportunity to get my foot into the industry,” she said. “There’s so much you can do with fur and so many techniques you can use. I wanted to come up with unique ideas in highlighting my collection.”
Stahl was one of only two designers from the U.S. selected for Remix 2018/2019. She currently is developing a social media presence, which is an integral part of the competition. Check out her Instagram account. She also is traveling to New York to begin fabrication of her contest entries with Pologeorgis before returning to finish them with York Furrier.
Her goal is to be invited as a Remix finalist to show off her work in Milan in February 2019.
Stahl is already earning praise for her designs. During the 2018 fashion show annually produced at COD by students in the Fashion Studies program, she won the top award as Outstanding Designer. Eva Stevens, Fashion Studies program coordinator, is impressed with Stahl’s work and vision.
“Whitney has an edge of fearlessness and is so courageous with her designs,” she said. “She doesn’t worry about what others are doing. I expect good things to come from her career.”
Stahl is excited about the Remix competition, which is judged by Vogue Italia, and she wants to continue learning as much as possible about fashion. Having already earned the Fashion Design and Fashion Entrepreneurial certificates, she would like to take more classes at COD before transferring to a fashion school to earn a bachelor’s degree.
“COD has helped me tremendously toward my new career,” she said. “I bought a sewing machine five years ago and came to COD only knowing how to play around on it. Now I’ve learned so much and it’s very exciting. If I hadn’t come to COD, I wouldn’t have known my potential. Now I want to work with big-name brands and labels and be involved with fashion weeks. I want to go everywhere with what I’m learning.”
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