By Katie Schliep
Name: Sam Shanks
Major: Fashion Design
Hometown: St. Clairsville, Ohio
Name: Zachary Sauer
Hometown: Chapel Hill, N.C.
District: What was your inspiration behind your collection?
Sam Shanks: We had started looking at a bunch of different things. Different things excited me, visually. I knew we wanted to look at Doris Eaton. She was a showgirl, and the cool thing about her was that she lived for over 100 years. She was born at the turn of the century and lived through the millennium. So it was really interesting to look at what she’s seen.
Zachary Sauer: I thought it would be interesting to basically reconcile high-tech, contemporary styles, with a turn of the century aesthetic … Kind of mimicking her life … you know, she was born at the turn of the century so she lived to see space shuttles and airplanes, when as a little girl, she had horse-drawn carriages.
District: What was the most difficult challenge you faced with the collection development?
Shanks: I started off in fashion marketing, and there was so many times where I was just like ‘I wanna go back, I wanna go back, I don’t want to do design.’ I thought it was overwhelming
Sauer: I kept her centered.
Shanks: Yeah, he definitely did. I just thought we had too many ideas, too many inspirations. It was tough. We knew we wanted to create all of our own fabric. We looked at different weaving, digital printing … It just seemed like a lot to pull together, which is why it was absolutely necessary that there were two of us.
Sauer: It was definitely a great benefit in working together because we had all these ideas that we were able to sift through together. She would come to me with ideas, and I could take the ones I thought worked, and she would take the ideas that I had and we were able to play with and mix them all together.
District: Is there anything you would change with your collection?
Shanks: I think if we had more time, I personally would like to have engineered our prints differently. We ended up having to do a lot of all over printing, because of time, because of money. I think just more focused and keeping on track.
District: How would you both describe your design aesthetic?
Sauer: We’re really, really different, but also the same. It sounds weird. I’m definitely more attracted toward things from the past, like very historic looking things, and she’s definitely more clean, and simple. I’m also drawn to that too, so it’s kind of like mixing these things together; a lot like our inspiration. It’s our aesthetics coming together.
Shanks: But it’s weird because, if we reference out favorite designers, they’re the same. So it’s kind of interesting. We definitely come from different places.
District: Why did you decide to pursue a degree in the fashion industry?
Sauer: When I came to school I wanted to do fashion. But realized my mind thinks more two-dimensionally, and flat. I don’t really think with how things contour around the body, and shapes, which is something she (Sam) is really good at, whereas I’m very focused on images, and print and flat things. Which is why I chose fibers; it’s much more tactile and image focused.
Shanks: It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I looked at these old notebooks of mine saying how I wanted to be a designer.
District: What are your plans after graduation?
Shanks: We’ve started a brand. I’m in my entrepreneurship class and I’m writing a business plan about it and we’ve actually had some interest in helping us build it.
Sauer: Hopefully we’ll be collaborating in the future, for a while.Contact Katie Schliep .