fashion student UW-Stout creates clothing line for global company | Local News
MENOMONIA – Kalia Moua, a student at UW-Stout, is living a dream that lasts most of her life.
The Eau Claire resident created a 20-piece spring clothing line that an international fashion company agreed to produce and sell.
Moua, who specializes in fashion and retail, designed the line for SHEIN, a trendy and trendy e-commerce platform that offers women’s clothing as well as men’s and children’s clothing, accessories, shoes, bags and other fashion items. The company delivers to more than 220 countries and regions around the world. With websites supporting the United States, Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia and the Middle East, SHEIN ships from numerous warehouses positioned around the world .
“Fashion has always been a part of me,” said Moua. “Since I was about 7 years old, I knew that the only thing I saw myself doing in the future was something with clothes. To this day, I still can’t see myself doing anything other than fashion.
She traces her love of fashion back to her childhood in Eau Claire, one block from a thrift store, where she did her shopping with her family or even alone.
“I would buy the most random clothes that all my siblings would tease me about how weird I was,” recalls Moua, who continues to seek out unique items.
After making a find in a thrift store, Moua modified the clothes, sometimes combining clothes, to create unique pieces that expressed her fashion interests.
“My designs when I was a kid were rarely successful because I couldn’t sew and couldn’t wait to sew by hand,” Moua said. “I fondly remember always trying to modify my clothes to fit or remove the trims like a zipper and then add a newer, bolder zipper. I also remember shortening a long dress to a miniskirt.
After starting at Chippewa Valley Technical College to complete her general education courses, Moua transferred to UW-Stout to earn her bachelor’s degree.
“I chose UW-Stout because it’s affordable and it was the closest school to me that offers a fashion design program,” Moua said. “I love all the technical concepts that I learn in all of my clothing classes. I believe the knowledge I have, and will continue to gain from these courses, is what employers are looking for.
Last fall, Moua was informed by a friend who worked as a stylist for SHEIN of an opportunity to collaborate on a collection, and Moua quickly contacted SHEIN.
“They liked my portfolio and wanted to work with me,” Moua said, noting that SHEIN targets young, stylish women with affordable clothing. “I sent them about 20 models in total, and they agreed to produce them all. The theme I wanted to follow was bright spring colors that scream fierce, fun and alluring. “
Moua’s clothing line is called Sayndo. It’s the abbreviation of doing what you say and saying what you do. It was a motto that his father, Nhia Shoua Moua, who died in 2017, lived and instilled in his children. “It means living up to what you promise and following your passions,” Moua said, noting that she had nine siblings.
One of her favorite pieces in the collection is a floral one-sleeve glove dress, Moua said. “I love this dress for its sexy, yet fun side, thanks to the spring-inspired floral print. I have to choose this print with the colors that the print would be dyed with. It was very fun.”
Another favorite is a backless blazer that has hues of yellow and a shawl collar.
Belinda Banike, Director and Lecturer of UW-Stout’s Fashion and Retail Program, said Moua is an excellent student who is committed to her classes and consistently produces high quality work.
“Kalia is a very talented designer,” Banike said. “Her sense of design has grown and improved over the time I’ve known her. His creations are sophisticated while remaining fresh and young. “
Students often work with companies as part of their internships, Banike said.
“Having the opportunity to design a few pieces under (his) own name in collaboration with a company is quite rare and a unique experience,” Banike said. “It was a great opportunity for her and a testament to her abilities and talents as a designer.”
Moua said much of the work for the collection was done in the fall, including concepts and designs. She sketched and used Illustrator to create technical designs to share with the SHEIN production team so they could create prototypes. Until now, she has used social media to promote her collection. She earns a commission on sales.
Having her collection for sale is surreal, said Moua, stressing how grateful she was to SHEIN for the opportunity. It can be found at SHIEN.com.
“Honestly, I kept screaming out of nowhere throughout this trip because I was so excited and so in disbelief that this was all happening,” she said. “When my collection went live, I had never been so happy and proud of myself, and it’s definitely a milestone in my career.”
Moua said her dream job was to create, style and photograph clothes of her own design.
“I want to create a brand that represents artists like me who love to make a statement,” she said.