Photo Gallery: Local Designer showcases Earth-inspired fashions for her new line

For years, Julia Chew has been creating fashions out of her Tampa home for her line, “Xiaolin.” At 20-years-old, Chew has already made hundreds of items that have been showcased across the globe. She is currently working on the “Phoenix Bird” that will be displayed at an upcoming fashion show.

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Although it may look like a regular living room, to Julia Chew, a designer, it’s a place where her creativity is brought to life.
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Chew’s creations  usually begin on paper, and when they are ready to be conceived, she gathers her fabric and a few simple tools including needles, thread and measurement sticks.
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Chew begins with a dress form that works as the blank canvas for her fashions.
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After hours of hand sewing, Chew uses the dress form to hold her handmade fashions, like the “Phoenix Bird.”
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Inspired by the Earth and its animals, many of Chew’s designs feature colors and elements common to the planet. On the “Phoenix Bird,” in particular, Chew hand sews hundreds of dyed feathers onto the dress.
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For years, Chew has been designing fashions like the “Phoenix Bird.” Her line, “Xiaolin,” has been displayed in boutiques around the country and recognized in magazines and fashion shows across the world. Photos by Cassaundra Palmer.

 

Tampa clothing designer, USF grad plans launch of bikini and yoga pants line in summer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idi_midwhN4&feature=youtu.be

The Tampa Bay area has a new clothing company opening this summer. Business woman and clothing designer Christian Mikel plans to launch her bikini and yoga pants line.

The Tampa native developed her line, Christian Mikel Inc., from the ground up on her own.

“My first step was to get a business license, so that way I looked credible and manufacturers would want to talk to me and give me their time,” said CEO Mikel. “Then, after that, I learned that I had to not only make my designs, but also make computer-formatted designs. So, I learned how to use Photoshop and Illustrator.”

Mikel aspires to open a store in Tampa, but in the meantime will launch her website this summer.

“Currently, I’m working on getting my samples back and hopefully release this summer my bathing suit and yoga pant line,” Mikel said. “I’ve been learning how to set up my website so my website is ready to go. And once I get all the products in, we’re going to do our photo shoots with our models. Then, we’ll pick the photos we want and post them on our website and basically, we’re in business and we’re ready to go.”

Mikel graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in biomedical sciences. However, her passion has always been in the arts.

“My daughter has always been interested in painting, and the arts and making things with her hands,” said Terri Corson, Mikel’s mother. “She’s extremely creative and, although she had a degree in the sciences, her real passion was on how things should be put together.”

After launching her yoga pants and swimwear line, Mikel wants to create and design her own jewelry line to add to her fashion empire.