Fashion designer aspires to make elegant yet affordable clothes


The tears began to flow.

“I can’t believe this,” she said when it was announced at the El Camino Fashion Show that she won 1st place for best collection in the spring of 2016.

When Kathy entered to be one of the designers to showcase her talent at the El Camino Fashion Show, the idea of winning third place for best collection seemed far fetched to her, let alone first place.

“I was in shock,” Katherine James, also known as Kathy, says. “You know, this is like a big dream.”

Kathy, 59, studies child development and fashion design at El Camino College. After she finishes school, she’s looking to take out a loan to open a boutique and she hopes to one day make it big in Paris.

Her path to designing and creating clothes began when she decided to sew little outfits for her dolls. She later learned to sew clothes for people and since has sewn and sold clothes for people like wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, hats and scarves and more.

It took Kathy a month to create her collection. Kathy says she had to work on it at school and a lot of it was done at her house as well.
Other designers that took part in the fashion show had collections that consisted of numerous dresses. Kathy says that people were in “awe” at her collection because it had a selection of faux fur coats and it was “different.”

“What inspired me was the beauty, the elegance, like you see in the old movies in the 50s,” Kathy says.

The movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a movie that inspired her. She also takes inspiration from celebrities like Lucille Ball, Betty Davis and Audrey Hepburn. Kathy says she likes things that are “old, unique, beautiful.”

Kathy’s daughter, Shanice James, 22, child development major, says she was “uncertain” when her mom said she would make her prom dress. Shanice says that the end result was a sequence-covered dress that hugged her body.

Shanice says she loved it.

“Everybody was calling me Beyonce,” Shanice says.

Shanice, modeling the faux fur coats in images No. 2 and No. 3, wore the blue fur coat for her birthday and says everyone loved it.

One of Kathy’s goals is to create clothes that make women “feel beautiful” that are unable to afford high-end fashion. She wants her clothes to be “elegant” and “affordable”.

Kathy says she had girls come up to her to model her outfits after the model call. They would try on the fur coats and say “I feel like a million dollars.”

Kathy says she wants her customers to feel like they’re “priceless” when they wear her designs.