Myra Chung of Des Plaines struggled through her first high school sewing lesson. Now, she's a Harper College fashion student designing her own collection.
Chung and classmate Michelle Kreutner won $2,500 Fashion Group International scholarships to hone their craft. Applicants interviewed with industry professionals and showcased a signature garment for consideration.
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"I'm honored to be chosen by such an influential organization," Chung 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."
Chung has been working on developing a military-themed mini-collection since last fall. "I want my garments to represent the independence of today's women," she says, crediting her professors for encouraging her to continue with fashion and helping her explore intricate patterns.
Kreutner has ambitious plans to complete a final year at Harper, study abroad in Europe and work 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.
Their designs were part of the college's 2013 fashion show, "DéVu," which celebrated 45 years of fashion design at Harper, showcasing nearly 100 pieces from two dozen students.