For the next few weeks shoppers at the Century 21 at 8th and Market Streets shouldn’t be surprised to see several Moore College of Art and Design students bringing their friends and family members to check out and take photos of the window displays.
The reason? Through a partnership between the college and Century 21, several of the school’s fashion design students have gowns and other pieces they designed exhibited in the windows. The first Moore-designed windows were unveiled this weekend.
“I was so ecstatic when my gown was chosen,” says senior Emily Oluoch. “I’ve shopped at Century 21 at the store in NYC and to have my garment displayed in the Philadelphia store is an amazing opportunity, it’s a dream come true.”
Oluoch won an award for the gown last spring. “I did one dress that was inspired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art,” she explains. “It was basically made of slides that I got at the [thrift store] the Resource Exchange. And then I got LED lights and had them illuminated so that you can see the slides.”
Originally from Kenya, Oluoch adds that she hopes that this window display will be the first of many. “I do want to have my own line one day,” she says. “We are working on our senior collections right now and I hope to be on sale in Century 21 one day.”
And you can certainly count on seeing Oluoch hanging out around the window once her dress goes on display in March. “If I can bring everybody with me, I will,” she says with a laugh. One person she’s particularly excited about showing the new display to is her father - who happens to be visiting from Kenya.
“My dad is old school so he really doesn’t understand fashion and living in Kenya, it’s not really considered a profession,” she explains. “Having him there will really open his eyes.”
Building a lasting partnership:In addition to displaying the creations of Moore students, Century 21 will also be hosting select students as interns at both the Philadelphia and New York City stores. “We made a commitment to the Philadelphia community that we would support them, and partnering with Moore College of Art was a great way to show our dedication to the thriving creative class here,” says Century 21’s Chief Strategy Officer Valentino Vettori.
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.