Kristin Hardwick, age 21, was born and raised in a little quaint town called “Delavan” located in Wisconsin. From little on, she was always very ambitious and loved doing hands-on activities or projects throughout her life and schooling. When she was introduced to fashion at a very young age through modeling, theatre, and dance recitals, she then started to develop a hobby that she adored very much...which was creating! She always envisioned herself being in the fashion industry but didn’t know that there were so many avenues that she could pursue. Doing her research, she decided to take on Fashion Design. It is hands-on and you are constantly using your creative mind when developing new looks and styles. Which is right up her alley. Throughout the process of getting her foot in the door, she was able to learn from others which essentially helped the process and development of her career. All of which was very beneficial to her.
So far, in her career, she has been able to display her garments in various shows for events such as “Go Red for Women” Red Heart Association fashion show, “Bridging the Gap” fashion show (which fights for domestic violence), and even at her colleges annual “CREO” fashion shows (Mount Mary University) for which they host each year. All of which takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kristin also has future endeavors that she is excited to announce...such as her upcoming internship in New York this winter. She will be working hand-in-hand with well-known designer Garo Sparo from Season 17 of “Project Runway”. With him being such a huge inspiration to her, she hopes to learn certain techniques and skills throughout her time in New York City.
Why do you do what you do?
With always having an eye for fashion and attention to detail, this field is absolutely perfect for me. Fashion is so much more than just designing clothes. You develop inspiration/artboards, you illustrate ideas for upcoming collections/looks, you start to pick the right fabrications according to your design ideations, and lastly, you pattern-make, sew, and really start to see your creations come to life. It is always so rewarding to see your designs walk down the runway and be able to think that I did that. Throughout my life, I have always believed that fashion was my calling, so being a self-taught designer, I have always been very ambitious to keep pushing myself further and to achieve my goals. I have had such an amazing support system surrounding me throughout my journey and career, that I simply wouldn’t want it any other way. I am grateful and passionate about my career path and how far I have come. I can’t wait for what the future has in store for me!
What are some projects you are currently working on?
As this year is slowly coming to an end, that does not mean I am slowing down. I have many things in store as of now, one of which including a collection that I have been working on for a while. It will be launching in May of 2021! Details to come soon! I am constantly updating my website, so make sure to check that out for more updates as time goes on.
What are your goals for the short-term and long-term?
With having my internship coming up this coming winter, my goals for the upcoming year would be to really get my foot in the door and make myself known to the communities that surround me. Striving to become better is always something that I am open to. I know that as a designer, as well as other designers out there, none of us are perfect. We can always find ways on how to improve ourselves and that is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life. Throughout a career, you never stop learning, with that being said...as time goes on you will continue to get better and overall improve yourself as a person.
My long term goals, however, consist of gaining more experience within the fashion industry to eventually have my very own brand. Now, no one said it will be easy, but the more you strive and push yourself to achieve the unknown, the more likely you will be to reach your long-term goals.
Who or what inspires you?
As each year goes on, things that inspire me to change constantly. I wouldn’t say that there is one specific thing, person, or object that inspires me but rather a “midst of the moment” type thing. What I mean by that is when you are developing a collection, you are constantly going through different trend websites, taking nature walks, or even going on social media, all of which can give you different forms of inspiration. Whatever comes to you at that moment in time, that's when you know you have big plans for a design project or maybe even a collection! That’s the exciting part about being a designer is that you never know when something will inspire you or how something will inspire you, it just sort of happens on its own.
If you could change anything about your industry, what would it be?
The fashion industry is not perfect by any means. There is so much that can be improved on and so much to still be developed. A good example would be “fast fashion”. “Fast fashion” is inexpensive clothing that is produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. This form of method can be rather hazardous to the environment and can cause great pollution to the earth itself. Even though this can be a quick and easy way to get products produced, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t destroy our environment within the next decade or so. I believe that using more eco-friendly materials and limiting the amount of factory production would help the earth tremendously in a good way. Although it might be hard to keep in mind 24/7 when developing a collection or look, we must simply try and help save our earth before it gets too out of hand.
What do you plan to do once you cross the millionaire mark?
Yes, as a creative, I do wish for great success and recognition for my work. I have briefly thought about fame and income and what I would do if I got to that point in my life...and honestly, to me, money doesn’t define who I am as a person. I am not greedy, although it would be nice not to worry financially about some things that go on throughout our lives, but I can’t help but think of how grateful I would be if just 1 person came up to me and admired or appreciated my work as a designer. That is all I need and want within my time here on earth. I want to make others feel good about themselves, as well as when they wear my designs. Recognition for my work is rewarding in itself! Money is just an object and comes as a bonus later in life. So, to answer the question fully, if I were to become a millionaire, I would want to give back to others. Whether it is through charities, homeless shelters, people that have helped me throughout my journey, etc., I believe my job is to make the world a happier place and to give to those who are in need and struggling, because in the end,...their happiness makes me happy.