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North Texas Fashion Class Produces Clothes For The Homeless

The 13 sets of garments were donated to local charities
Photo: Texas Woman’s University | Website

Think fashion designers and you automatically imagine glamorous runways and colorful bombastic outfits. But the reality is that fashion design involves more logic, practicality, efficiency and effectiveness than you’d expect. But that’s not all. Take these North Texas fashion students’ work for example — They are creating outfits tailored to the needs of homeless men.

Zigewai Odukomaiya, fashion design and merchandising lecturer at Texas Woman’s University, asked the students in her mass production techniques class to think of a project with a community focus. Each year after the final projects are finished, most garments end up stored on shelves. 

“I just thought one day, ‘we keep having these garments and they keep setting’ so what could we do and where is the need?” lecturer Zigewai Odukomaiya told CBSDFW

After some brainstorming, the group of students and teacher decided to focus on homeless men. “Because most time focus is put on women and children,” explained Odukomaiya. So having them in mind students had to start thinking about the practicality of the clothing items they would produce.

"It should be presentable if they needed to go look for a job. It should have enough pockets to put their belongings,” she said. “That way they're not carrying so much in their hands. Cuff sleeves at the end to keep them warm during the winter. Tighter cuffs on the ankles as well, to protect them from cold.” To keep all sizes in mind, they added elasticized waistlines and drawstrings so each garment is adjustable.

The class split into two groups each responsible for designing the pattern and crafting one outfit. To one of the designs, they added reflective fabric on the shoulders considering that homeless people might be walking in the streets at night. The other group focused on the presentability of the outfits so they would be a good fit if they are attending job interviews. 

In total the class produced 13 sets of outfits and the clothes were donated to Twice As Nice of Denton and Woman To Woman Pregnancy Resource Center.