Simmons finds success with dress drive

Grace Griffin, Copy Editor

Sierra Simmons hosted a dress drive to promote second-hand clothing as part of her Diploma with Distinction Project.

Sierra “wanted to bring light to the fast-fashion industry and its detrimental impacts on our environment.”

She explicitly focused on prom dresses because “prom dresses are one of the many types of clothing that sit in closets after being worn once and ultimately end up in a landfill.”

Sierra built a rack and placed it in the Student Services hallway so that those who passed could drop off their dresses. She collected over 60 of them, ranging from casual, long, and short formal.

After collecting the dresses, she decided to alter them. Sierra said, “My main plan was to modernize and upscale some casual ones. For example, I added trims to waistlines, removed excess layers of tulle, and altered silhouettes to be more flattering.”

Her passions for fashion and sewing began with her mother. Sierra said, “In our house, she turned one of her walk-in closets into a sewing room. Growing up, we spent a lot of time in there creating things.”

Their shared love for sewing and creating came to a halt when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and developed lymphedema in her arm. Their sewing room stayed untouched until Sierra’s project.

Sierra commented, “Together, we relearned how to use the sewing machine and remembered our love for making things together.”

The pair’s next sewing project focuses on another project: costumes for the Ndungu/McComas production of Cinderella. Sierra said she and her mom “are designing and constructing Cinderella’s iconic transformation dress.”

Sierra is taking her talents beyond this project and will be attending Parson School of Design at The New School next year and majoring in Fashion Design.

Sierra commented, “In my future, I hope to be a creative director for a brand or a stylist for a celebrity.”