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First-Year Fashion Design Student Wins First Competition

On her first time out in a fashion competition, first-year Fashion Design major Karyn Kittrell took home a top prize.


Karyn won the Emerging Designer showcase at Baltimore Fashion Week, held August 12-14, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland.


“This was the first real big show I’ve competed in,” Karyn said. “I was kind of surprised.”


Baltimore Fashion Week is an annual event that celebrates local, national and international artists and designers who design, create and produce rack-ready garments.


Karyn entered five pieces in the show – a flamenco-inspired design that featured a wrap skirt that changed into a dress; a cocktail dress; a blue and silver gown with a trumpet train; a military-inspired design based off of her brother’s Virginia Military Institute uniform; and a wedding dress with a train featuring 700 pearls and 900 crystals – all glued on by hand.


The Emerging Designers competition involved online voting, and Karyn’s designs garnered the most votes. She received $100 as the prize.


“My mom says I’ve had an eye for fashion since the age of one,” said Karyn, the youngest and only girl among four children in her family. “I would go up to all of the silks – silk was my favorite. My brothers were mad that I had 50 handbags at the age of one.”


Karyn has competed in pageants in the Miss America system, and has made many of her gowns.


“My dad saw Miss America 1961 do a fashion talent, and he thought I should do one, too,” she said. “Pageants helped me build my portfolio for school.”


Karyn, from Fulton, Maryland, found out about Moore at a portfolio day in Baltimore.


“I started researching Moore and I fell in love with it,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of new friends, and I like being in the city. You can walk pretty much down the block and there are 50 things to do.”


Karyn hopes one day to open her own boutique and make evening gowns, prom and homecoming dresses.


“I’m leaning more toward pageant dresses, because I was in the pageant system and I know a lot of girls who would die for my dresses,” she said.

Published on September 15th, 2016