Shoua Xiong '20
Just the beginning
Shoua Xiong ’20, journey in the Fashion Design program at Mount Mary began in the fall of 2010. After completing two years of study, she took a break from school, but not from fashion.
Her job as a fashion retail sales associate exposed Shoua to the concept of connecting customer needs with product offering. She honed her “hands-on” skills in sewing through work as a seamstress, and perfected her fit technique by altering bridal gowns. She also started a family.
Designer returns to school
In 2018, her desire for a career in fashion inspired her return to Mount Mary to complete her degree in Fashion Design.
Shoua excels in construction and patterning classes because she “constantly thinks of how garments are constructed – which definitely helps make the process of draping and patternmaking easier.”
CAD technology, and “design theory” applied in Fashion Design I and II classes demand a different kind of creativity, and challenge her to “think beyond the making of a garment.” The design process requires focus on a specific customer, followed by trend and competitive research – inspiration necessary before the idea and problem solving can begin!
Designer makes the stage
Hours spent “setting a mood, finding inspiration and then bringing my unique aesthetic to life through fashion design is rewarding and quite an accomplishment.” Shoua’s designs earned her three important awards in the 2019 Mount Mary CREO fashion show – JOCKEY Best of Show Award, Pieper Electric: Outstanding Patternmaker, and Outstanding Construction Award in honor of S. Aloyse, SSND.
She expanded her Senior Capstone Lilac Dream collection and confidently showcased her designs at Milwaukee Fashion Week in the fall of 2019. In the fall of 2020, Shoua was awarded The Charles Kleibacker Fashion Scholarship for talent and strong character. “It was a great experience to challenge myself by getting my designs out there.”
Bridal gowns spark passion
Shoua’s internship experience involved cutting patterns and sewing bridal gowns at Milwaukee’s Love Lives Here Bridal, which exposed her to the business of fashion. Shoua appreciated that, owner and designer Amanda Jennings, didn’t glamourize the industry. “I appreciated witnessing how much discipline, hard work and dedication are required to run a company.”
When she came back to Mount Mary’s Fashion program, Shoua expected to earn her degree and find a job after, but to her surprise she has gained much more than that. “I developed connections and opportunities through faculty and staff – allowing me to build my network of friends, mentors and advisors along the way – beyond what I could do alone, and opened the door to the variety of careers in fashion after graduation.”
Advice from Shou Xiong
To anyone considering studying Fashion Design: “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s worth it! Definitely look into the courses that are offered, take a tour, and get an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. The courses require work, but the end results are worth it. The connections you build and create are endless.”
Fashion was always a career path that I enjoyed and felt confident about, so coming back was the right move!
Shoua Xiong '20