“I learned to hand sew at the age of 7, when my mom helped me sew my torn, yellow blanket,” Serrita Shaw, a 2017 graduate of the Fashion Design program at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), says.
Years of passion were realized this spring, when Shaw showed three looks from her collection, “Serrita Crystal Shaw Spring/Summer 2018,” at SCAD FASHWKND. The showcase featured original designs by the university’s senior and graduate fashion students in Savannah and Atlanta. The weekend included the annual SCAD Savannah Runway Show on Friday and the first SCAD Atlanta Fashion Showcase on Sunday.
“I enjoyed seeing my collection go down the runway in front of an audience for the first time,” the West Baltimore native says. “This experience made me feel prepared and inspired to move forward in my career as a fashion designer.”
She designs for women who are strong, sophisticated and determined—those who are fashion forward and know what they want.
“I consider my designs as an evolution to accentuate the female body,” she says. “I feel like it’s been lost in the fashion industry and should to be reintroduced in fashion.“
Shaw’s collections are inspired by the exterior architecture of buildings—but also interiors. “Seeing the outline design of the furniture gives me ideas for new silhouettes,” she says.
Shaw praises SCAD for giving students real-world experience, such as FASHWKND. It gives them the opportunity to work with fashion industry leaders and designers through the Style Lab mentor program in the months leading up to the showcase. This year’s mentors included Francisco Costa, Marv Graff, David Ruperto and Emily Smith.
Gregory O’Shea, the Rolls-Royce sponsor, selected Shaw to include one of her looks in the new Rolls-Royce Dawn model that was displayed at the show.
“I was very honored to receive the opportunity,” she says. “It was certainly unexpected, and I had the opportunity to speak with Gregory about the fashion show and my experience at each SCAD global campus.”
During their conversation, O’Shea told Shaw he was intrigued by her designs. Though SCAD has provided her with many opportunities to interact with industry professionals, meeting O’Shea was “certainly a highlight,” she says.
Shaw now wants to focus on trademarking her brand (Serrita Crystal Shaw), logo, adding more fabric and design to her current collection and discovering ways to get her name out there as a designer.
“I see myself owning my own fashion house and maintaining a strong reputation of exquisite designs from season to season,” she says.