Myra Chung thought fashion would be the last career she'd pursue after she struggled through her first high school sewing lesson. Now the Harper College fashion student is on her way to designing her own collection.
Chung, alongside classmate Michelle Kreutner, is a winner of a new Fashion Group International scholarship, netting her $2,500 to hone her craft.
The two were among five Harper finalists for the awards, which will be given out annually to two Harper students through 2017 through a partnership with FGI, the nonprofit organization for the fashion, apparel, beauty and home industries. Applicants interviewed with industry professionals and showcased a signature garment for consideration.
Chung credits her Harper professors for encouraging her to continue with fashion and helping her explore intricate patterns, like the extensive design seen on her winning dress.
"I'm honored to be chosen by such an influential organization," she says. "Fashion is like an addiction to me, and I want to keep learning and gaining new experiences so I can be a successful designer in the workforce, and not just someone who makes clothes."
Kreutner's plans include completing a final year at Harper, studying abroad in Europe and working as an assistant designer before growing her own brand.
"This takes me one step closer to my dreams," says Kreutner, who slowly developed her edgy designs while working as a bridal runner and bridesmaid consultant in the industry.
The winners' garments will be among those exhibited at the annual student fashion show at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 17 in the Performing Arts Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine.
For tickets, call 847.925.6100 or visit www.harpercollege.edu/boxoffice. For more information on Harper's Fashion Design program, visit www.harpercollege.edu.