Cedar Rapids – Senior at Prairie, Hannah Eckley, revealed her newest clothing line at her Fashion Show on May 12, at Raygun. The show featured an unconventional runway where the audience sat on the perimeter of the upstairs room, while models walked in the center around a white wall.
The clothing line was made of all upcycled material, with the original clothes being bought from Goodwill. Eckley’s inspiration for the line was her experiences and observations in self-expression. “Throughout the summer and going into my senior year I started seeing that people were getting judged for what they were wearing,” stated Eckley.
One of her models was even judged for wearing a pair of ripped jeans to school, “We made sure to put Noah in the pants that he got made fun of in and got in trouble at school for wearing.”
She wishes to eliminate judgments based on the clothes people wear. To Eckley and many others, “Clothing is so much more than just getting up and getting dressed.”
The diversity of models enhanced the message of self-expression. Eckley says, “We didn’t want one size model, we didn’t want one race, we didn’t want just guys, we didn’t want just girls, we wanted a whole spectrum of people.”
Additionally, every model wore clothes that had specific meaning towards them. Model, Gigi, wore a sweatshirt with the words, “More self-love,” on it.
With holes and rips scattered on various pieces, Eckley combined the garments and the models with a deeper meaning, “Using themselves as a blank canvas, and putting the “more love” as bullets.” She uses the designs to represent the self-destruction society can create and empowers the wearers to accept more love to themselves.
At the beginning of the year, Eckley explains that her team was stressed to figure out what they wanted the line to encompass. “We really wanted to educate our team about some of the self-expression and what clothing was and what it means to people. And why people wear what they do wear.”
Her staff wore ECKLEY shirts, saying, “Be bold, be strong, be happy, be original, BE YOU,” on the back, and The Eckley Fashion mission is to, “Break labels and stereotypes through fashion.”
All photos by Kyle Kazimour with Ambivalence Studios.