Fashion designers typically have to wait until they are well into their career to have a collection in New York Fashion Week. Jillian Hackett already is about to accomplish this milestone as she begins her career.
Hackett, a Texas Tech freshman apparel design and manufacturing major from Montgomery, said she got an invitation to show a collection at New York Fashion Week of September 2021. The invitation was offered by Oxford Fashion Studio, a company who specializes in providing young designers the opportunity to display their designs on a global stage.
The company told her they appreciated the work she already had designed, and they were interested in seeing what else she could create.
“That’s something that was really surprising to me, that they just saw something that I had done, and they wanted to see more,” she said.
Lindsay Duke from Montgomery said she was Hackett’s fashion design teacher in high school.
“It’s just an awesome opportunity to really kind of put her name out there as a new designer and a young designer,” Duke said.
Hackett got her inspiration to pursue fashion from her mom, she said. Her mom frequently would make her handmade clothes and costumes as a kid and was the first person to teach her how to sew.
Hackett will be showing an eight-look collection at Fashion Week. The collection will focus on blending evening wear and ready-to-wear clothing, which allows for each piece of clothing to be interchangeable, she said.
“You can create more than just the eight looks that are going to be presented,” Hackett said. “I like being able to change things up, and that’s something I really want to be apparent in my collection.”
Hackett gets inspiration for her designs from nature and the world around her, she said.
“A lot of the time, I will just look at something and then imagine how it would look as a piece of clothing,” Hackett said.
For example, she will look at how a plant moves, what the color palette is and how the light hits it, she said. Then, she brainstorms how she can translate those characteristics into her designs.
Hackett has multiple exciting opportunities awaiting her in New York for Fashion Week.
“I think I’m most excited for the day before, because that’s when I have the meetings with all the people who are in charge of the runway show,” Hackett said.
She will get to meet the person who invited her to fashion week, the creative director for Oxford Fashion Studios and other designers. She will also have model fittings to see how the clothes look before they go down the runway, Hackett said.
Hackett has set a couple goals for the collection she is designing and what she hopes to gain after showing her designs.
She would love to catch the eye of a designer who can give her an internship or have a retailer offer to manufacture and sell her collection in stores, she said. In addition, she wants to focus on ensuring women feel empowered and comfortable when wearing her designs.
Paola Ochoa from San Diego, California said she is a friend and colleague of Hackett’s. Her favorite parts of Hackett’s designs are how she makes them unique by designing them with the needs of the person wearing them in mind.
“She’s able to see the vision of what the person wants and fit it to them,” Ochoa said.
When planning the future of her brand, Hackett hopes to make evening wear and ready-to-wear clothing, she said. She also hopes to have a bridal collection come out once a year.
“I hope by the time I graduate, I have learned the ins and outs of the industry to where my brand can grow and flourish, to where I can be completely self-sustaining,” Hackett said.