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Fashion is universal: foreign students make a design club

By Julia Janiszewski
Arts Editor

Despite language barriers, fashion makes it possible to unite with other cultures all over the world, and Harold Washington’s own Fashion and Design Club is evidence of that. 

The club encourages people to bring in their old clothes so members can redesign them. Made up of mostly foreign students, the club brings together fashion connoisseurs and hobbyists to do what they love.

The majority of the club’s members have lived in China for most of their lives. They still struggle to speak English, but that doesn’t stop them from meeting twice a week to discuss their true passion: fashion. 

“You know the different country has different cultures, it’s interesting to learn from other students that’s the experience I never had,” said Club President Hezhi Zhang. “So I try to make some theme of the activity and we can discuss and talk about our own idea. Then we can design something fresh.”

Zhang has been designing clothes for as long as she can remember, starting with constructing outfits for her sister’s Barbies as a child.

Other members talked about what they love so much about fashion.

“Fashion is [always] changing,” said club member Jie Chen. “Fashion combines many cultures.”

XiaoWen Yang, another member, also believes the fashion industry can unify everyone all around the world. 

“In our club, [we] have a lot of people from different countries,” Yang said. Yang moved to Chicago to learn English.

During club meetings, the members will come together to talk fashion and bounce ideas off one another for future designs, and even repair or alter old clothes.

“Fashion is my life. In my thinking, art means fashion and fashion is equal to art. You can do unlimited things with fashion,” member Zhijie Xu said.

In late October, the Fashion and Design Club teamed up with A.C.E. for their special Halloween event. Zhang and a few other members were in charge of doing the makeup for students attending the event. 

“I was nervous,” Zhang said during the event, “but everyone was so cute!”

Zhang herself dressed up in a custom-made dress and a pink wig for the event.

The club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 829.

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