Chloe is a self-taught seamstress with aspirations of working in costuming, fashion or wedding attire. As part of her student-initiated major in applied design and entrepreneurship, she spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy—where she designed a line of clothing for a fashion store run by Florence University of the Arts.
I worked with academic affairs to create the applied design and entrepreneurship major so I could incorporate my passion for fashion design into my classes. In addition to my semester in Florence and independent studies on campus, this major includes courses in graphic design, theatre design and entrepreneurship.
Learning by design
During my semester in Florence, I worked at Fly, a fashion store run by Florence University of the Arts. I researched their customers, designed a line of clothing for the store, and created three of the pieces that went up for sale at the end of the semester. My designs used vintage Pucci fabric and patterns, but I made alterations to bring a modern twist to the Florentine designer’s lines. Taking class from a fashion professor was immensely helpful for me—both to affirm my skills in the industry and to build on them.
God’s vast kingdom
Being in Florence was my first time living outside a Christian community. I had to actively seek a church and Christian friends—an experience that was different from having established connections at home. This increased my dependence on God in new or uncomfortable situations. And yet, I was blown away by the vastness of God’s kingdom and the evidence that God is working in every corner of the world.
Living in an apartment in the center of Florence gave my roommates and I such a unique perspective. We walked past the Duomo—a Renaissance-style cathedral—every day, went shopping with locals at the markets, and became familiar with the city’s twisting medieval roads. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to explore and acclimate to life in Florence.