Fashion Design Camps Show Strong Interest

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You might not think South Dakota and fashion design mix, but camps this summer are showing otherwise.

All of the camps offered at the Institute of Design and Technology of South Dakota are now sold out.

At just ten years old, Faith Christensen is learning how to sew her first purse.

“I love sewing and stuff like that,” Christensen said.

Christensen is taking part in Project Design Boot Camp. This week, she’s learned everything from creating clothes for different body proportions to color trends.

“I was having kids say, ‘I want to be a fashion designer. I want to be an interior designer, but I can’t do it because I live in South Dakota,'” Camp Creative Director Anita Kealey said.

That’s why Kealey stitched together the idea of the camps around ten years ago. Since then, she’s seen an increasing amount of interest.

“Any more you don’t have to live in New York or L.A. to be in fashion or interior design. We can do that totally on our computers,” Kealey said.

Campers even get to work with designer fabrics, like Jonathan Adler.

“Often we have campers that come from five states away. Last year, we had campers from two other countries,” Kealey said.

This year’s design assistant at the camp, Mikayla Tjeerdsma, has been attending the summer events since she was ten.

“From childhood, I’ve always had a love for art and sewing. I started sewing when I was nine,” Tjeerdsma said.

Tjeerdsma hopes to take the skills she’s learned into a career. The high school senior wants to pursue a degree in fashion design.

“I don’t know if I want to be a big name fashion designer. That would be pretty cool, but it’s a real competitive industry,” Tjeerdsma said.

A competitive industry that’s sewing up more interest in South Dakota

The camps are open to kids ages nine to 17.

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