Since its founding in 1972, The Group has worked to fund scholarships for deserving students of Otis College of Art and Design. The awardees met with members of The Group and presented examples of their work at The Group's Annual Scholarship Luncheon on February 16, 2017. One student from each of the seven undergraduate disciplines is chosen for the scholarship, and each week, we'll be highlighting a different awardee as we countdown to the 2017 Commencement Ceremony.
For Anjali Read, fashion runs in the family. The fashion design senior's grandfather designs women’s bohemian clothing and had a showroom at the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles when she was growing up. For Anjali, studying fashion at Otis College of Art and Design was like "coming full circle."
"Otis helped me to explore who I am as a designer and I am beyond thankful," Anjali wrote. "At the end of my sophomore year, my first real design project at Otis explored unisex clothing. Menswear isn’t about fast fashion trends or decoration; it is about quality garments and high function. This makes men’s clothing extremely sustainable, which is part of my social responsibility as a designer. During my junior year, I began to identify myself more as a menswear designer, and I can now confidently say that is what I want to do."
Did you always want to be an artist or designer?
Since a young age, I wanted to become a fashion designer. My mom got me my first sewing machine when I was 10, around the same age I started to help my grandfather in his showrooms. This exposure ignited the drive and passion I have to become a successful designer.
What do you love about fashion design?
I love that I can design a two-dimensional sketch, and then bring it life three-dimensionally.
What is something that you learned at Otis College that you will take with you throughout your career?
My technical knowledge. Good taste can get you good design, but the training in patterning, draping, and sewing here at Otis is what will help me design clothing that is exciting and new, but also realistic for production.
Which instructor has most significantly shaped your experience at Otis College?
I have learned a lot from Tony Young. Tony has been my design instructor for the majority of my design packets at Otis. When I work with him it feels comfortable, easy, and very collaborative. He always listens to my vision for my work and challenges me with new sources of inspiration. He is someone that has helped me develop as a designer.
Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?
I am extremely proud of my tailored jacket I made this year. I learned about bespoke tailoring, and it displays my best sewing. It took a long time, and was sewn mainly by hand, but it was worth it because it was made beautifully inside and out.
Describe a collaboration you’ve worked on with other students. How did working with them inform your creative process?
In the fashion department, we work in teams a lot. We are all given the same direction and have to work towards the same final product, so there is a lot of time to get each other’s opinions and expertise on things. I love it because it is so collaborative but still individual.
What, if any, internships have you done and what was your biggest takeaway from the experience?
I've interned at Lucky Brand and Pacsun. At Pacsun I worked on the Men’s Design team, and it solidified my decision to become a menswear designer.