Fashion Design Student from Kenya Excels at Moore

Emily Oluoch is on a roll.

The junior Fashion Design major has a 3.9 grade point average, is the recipient of two recent scholarships/fellowships and has been offered her pick of summer internships.

Next year, she’ll be the first in her family to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.

“It’s going to feel great,” she said. “My family is really proud of me. I can’t wait to graduate and start my career.”

Born in Kenya, one of seven siblings, Oluoch was the first to migrate to the United States to pursue her dream of being a fashion designer. In 2000 she arrived in Baltimore, where she attended Baltimore Community College for Computer Aided Design (CAD). She then moved to Virginia to work for a loan company for several years. The company relocated to Delaware, where Oluoch started a family, eventually moving to Philadelphia to pursue her dream of fashion.

After a short stint at the Art Institute in Philadelphia, Oluoch, a non-traditional aged student, transferred to Moore. The rest, she said, was history.

“Moore is family,” she said. “Because I don’t have family here, I’ve met people who I’ll keep in my life forever. It’s amazing how much people really, sincerely care here. Because of how I push myself, I’ve really seen myself grow from when I started.”

At Honors Convocation last week, Oluoch received the Sis Grenald Travel Fellowship and The Fashion Group International/Libby Haynes Hyman Endowed Scholarship. For her travel fellowship, she plans to visit London to gain experience fusing fashion and sculpture alongside artist Yinka Shinobare.  

“This fellowship is going to greatly influence my senior thesis,” she said.

Oluoch will also travel to South Africa for her summer internship with design labels David Tlale and Leopard Frock.

Before that, she’ll be showing her swimwear and menswear looks at Moore’s Spring Fashion Show on May 17, 2014.

Oluoch admits it can be difficult to balance being a full-time student at Moore, working part-time (as a gallery guide and visitor service assistant at the Barnes Foundation), and being a mom to her 5-year-old son, Alexander. But it’s all worth it, she said.

“Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but then I look at my son and realize I’m going to be able to provide him with everything he needs one day,” she said. “I just want him to grow up into a great man someday.”







Published on April 24th, 2014