THREADS Designer Spotlight: Ashley Hovey

Read about how your favorite THREADS designers find their inspirations and get the sneak peak on what to expect at this year's Threads fashion show, April 16, 2011.


Ashley Hovey is busy working on her Threads collection which will be featured in the fashion show on Saturday, April 16. (Jordan Oster | Grand Central Magazine)

Ashley Hovey, an apparel merchandising and design senior, is a first year THREADS designer. This is the last year for Hovey to participate and she is taking full advantage of showcasing her design capabilities to an audience, and future employers.

Active is more than just a word to describe how she is working to complete her collection.

“I’m designing active wear,” Hovey said. “I prefer warm sunny weather.”

Hovey’s inspiration also came from colors.

“I love bold colors and the different blocking of colors,” Hovey said. “I also use my favorite active wear brands for inspiration: Reebok, Adidas and Lululemon.”

The collection is comprised of three different outfits. The first is a tight fitted workout ensemble.

Her second look offers a more relaxed appeal, consisting of a casual tank top and shorts. The last look is an over sized funnel neck fleece, which Hovey said is still a work in progress.

Designers constantly run into struggles during the process of completing their collection. The difficulty is ensuring that their initial design concept will be maintained and result in the actual garment that was first idealized.

Designing an active wear collection automatically presented Hovey with a big obstacle.

“Sourcing my fabric was difficult because I’m doing all stretch material, so finding the look that I wanted was hard to source in Michigan,” Hovey said. “I ending up getting my fabric from an alumnus that works at Lululemon, and the company sourced their fabric from Rose City Textiles out of Oregon.”

Hovey then did all of her ordering by receiving fabric swatches and ordering over the phone.

Most of Hovey’s designs are being completed in her apartment. She still works along side the other THREADS designers in the sewing lab, utilizing the large tables to complete pattern making.

Pattern making wasn’t the only technique required to complete the designs. Hovey additionally utilized a deconstruction technique to pattern her garments.

“I had to rip up one of my tank tops to create the basis for my patterns, and that’s how I patterned my tank top,” Hovey said. “I used a pair of McCall’s legging patterns and then made my own V-waist band instead of using the waistband given and then altered the length.”

Hovey doesn’t have any particular methodology for time management to complete her line. Relaying on what she calls her “OCD with time management,” she said that there is no doubt that she will have the line completed in time for the show.

In the end, she hopes for nothing more than to see all of her hard work pay off.