Edges Apparel

Creating Fashion - Sharing Stories

Design Process for Luxury Mist

Research: There is always so much to research! This phase in our work is always closely paired with sketching and fabric sourcing for us. At the start of this collection, we consulted with Curvaceous Lingerie to talk about their customer base. This involved us meeting with Lauren, the boutique owner, and going over key articles of clothing that sold better then others, and what to expect in sale trends as the seasons change. From this, we constructed a storyline of who our girl is for this specific collection. This narrative further directed the inspiration and design direction as we moved forwards. While this was all happening, we were also simultaneously sourcing fabrics, developing our color palette, sketching, and researching specific styles and details.  As we further explored all of these many facets, our collection progressively became clearer and finalized along the way. 

Patterning: We work through the process of what is called, flat patterning. This is where we draft out our designs on a flat surface before constructing them three-dimensionally. We do all this work in house so that we can directly work from our sketches to prototype. This ensuring exact shape and movement as designed by Katie.

For our tank in this collection, we worked back and forth, from pattern to prototype over eight times before we finalized the design for it.  In doing so, we also jumped back into the research phase of our work and ended up completely changing the design for it. The tank you'll see in this collection is hardily similar to what we had first designed. It's now much more versatile, flattering, and fun the wear!


Manufacturing: Once we finalized our designs and samples, we handed it all over to the manufacturer to begin the production of the collection. We are proud to support the local business, Bad Latitude, while bringing this collection to Lansing women!     

Learn more about the collection here!


Pursuing Hope

Edges Apparel's 2016 Summer Collection is inspired by the healing journeys of three adult survivors of child sexual trauma. Here is a close up look at the design process based on one of these journeys. 

“I was a frightened little girl with this unspoken secret.”
“I figured that no one would believe me even if I said anything.” 
“I wouldn’t wish this abuse on anyone, but I can stand here and say that there is hope for those who have gone through this type of trauma.”

 -Renee Casteels, 2016

Fashion For The Fire Survivor

“Renee has such a strong hope and faith in the power of educating others on sexual trauma to help bring awareness to it in our communities. I chose to focus my design on the progression from the secrecy she felt as a young child to the hope she now lives for. The color blocking of the blue refers to the secrecy, while the organic white shapes and movement depicts the growth and spread of hope in her life.”

- Katie Raynard, 2016

Fashion For The Fire Designer

Inspiration: Defining Yourself

Edges Apparel's 2016 Summer Collection is inspired by the healing journeys of three adult survivors of child sexual trauma. Here is a close up look at the design process based on one of these journeys. 

“This is not going to control me. It is there, and I can’t change what has happened, but it’s certainly not going to make me a bitter person.” 

“It doesn’t control my life anymore… I refuse to let it.”

- Charlene Stefanowski, 2016 Fashion For The Fire Survivor

“As Charlene is a protector and nurturer of others, I created a jacket, which is often seen as an outer layer of protection for the body. I chose to embellish it with bright yellow fabric and soft chiffon ruffles to depict the joy and laughter she took part in with her friends. I focused on how she was not going to let what she had experienced stifle the silliness and happiness she had within.” - Katie Raynard, Edges Apparel Designer
Online purchase of Edges Apparel’s summer collection is coming soon
Sign up to be notified when you will be able to purchase these items for yourself! 
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Inspiration: Discovering Your Fiery Self

Edges Apparel's 2016 Summer Collection is inspired by the healing journeys of three adult survivors of child sexual trauma. Here is a close up look at the design process based on one of these journeys. 


“The affects of sexual assault are not something that goes away. There are some things that can change and things that I can learn to manage. However, I expect to be effected by it probably for the rest of my life” –Becca Robinson, 2016 Fashion For The Fire Survivor



“I chose to use the color orange coming from the pale colors to represent the relationship between the vulnerability that she felt and the confidence that she has discovered in herself. In listening to the words she shared with me, I got a sense of energy, vibrancy, and dimension in the seasons of life she described cycling through. My aim was to create pieces that are explosive in character and color coming from a place of vulnerability.” –Katie Raynard, Edges Apparel Designer

Online purchase of Edges Apparel’s summer collection is coming soon
Sign up to be notified when you will be able to purchase these items for yourself!  
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“Unveiling The Journeys”…What is it about?

It is about seeing it as it is, celebrating survivors for all of who they are, and being involved in support and change.


It is about approaching the topic of child sexual trauma and being exposed to first hand accounts of it.

It is hearing about the physical and emotional impacts of it from survivors.

It is for everyone to realize the very evident way it has and continues to impact people’s lives around us.


Our tagline “Unveiling the Journeys” is a reflection of all of this. We are pulling back the curtain and being open and honest with what has happened and how it has affected many.


As we introduced this tagline last year, we are again using it for our Fashion For The Fire Summer 2016 Collection to reflect the purpose behind our work. In each of the survivor’s journeys that we have used as inspiration, they talk about how their childhood has been impacted by the trauma they had gone through. This year's collection is specifically composed of three mini series that share the messages of rediscovering one’s voice, defining oneself, and pursuing hope. These themes are all taken from the emotional and physical journeys of the survivors we worked with. Through being exposed to these firsthand implications of child sexual trauma, they give us a greater purpose and direction to move forward in support of others that have gone through it.


 As part of our advocacy fashion show, we will be audibly sharing these survivor’s journeys with the public. It will be an event full of education, empowerment, and strength. For some, it will be a night of solidarity, hope, and for others action. We challenge you to come be a part of this powerful night and experience the impact it has on you!


Because of our desire to support and create change around this topic, we are committing ourselves to donating a portion of the profit from the event to the work of the Firecracker Foundation. Their mission is to support the holistic healing services provided to child survivors of sexual trauma and their families in the tricounty area. We not only want to create a conversation around this topic, but also raise proceeds to support the mission of the foundation.


 Will you take your part in Unveiling The Journeys?


To become involved in the conversation, to find out more, and to purchase tickets,  click here. 


There Is More To The Story!

For those of you who remember last years show, it was focused on the topic of childhood sexual trauma and bringing awareness to implications of it. Through completing that show, we met and worked with five adult survivors and were left with a great admiration towards each of these women in regards to where they are now in their journeys.

From the interviews with these survivors, we learned more about some of the struggles they have worked through due to the trauma they had experienced. Along with being exposed to these first hand accounts, we were in awe of the hope, love, and vibrancy each of these survivors now live out their lives with. In reflecting on this, we realized there was more to each of their stories. Their healing journey doesn’t end, but instead, it’s a journey that continues to evolve and shape their lives as time goes on.

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage didn’t exist, it means it no longer controls me” words that Charlene Stefanowski often reflects on – 2016 Fashion For The Fire Survivor

In this, we were led to create our 2016 Summer Collection while again putting on the presentation of our concept fashion show, Fashion For The Fire. 

As our work continues to grow around this topic, we continue to support the work and mission of The Firecracker Foundation here in our community. Their mission is to honor the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma by building a community invested in the healing of their whole being. As part of this community, we are supporting this mission through our means of fashion. Find out more about the foundation’s work at: http://thefirecrackerfoundation.org  

On April 9th, we ask you to come be apart of the unveiling of journeys from three women survivors of childhood sexual trauma during our concept fashion show, Fashion For The Fire.

In this show, we will be highlighting the work of the foundation and offering opportunities to donate to their mission. Along with this, we will be donating a portion of our ticket sales and profit from sold merchandise to their work.

For this new collection, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Becca Robinson, Charlene Stefanowski, and Renee Casteels to use each of their journeys as our inspiration for this year’s collection. As we reveal the fashion that we created, we will also be sharing each of these interviews with you.  The purpose of this concept fashion show is to further  inform you and the public, honor and celebrate these women’s lives, and to experience fashion. 

We can’t wait to experience the power of each of these journeys on April 9th and see the impact we all will be a part of igniting for our community!

Find out more about the event at http://www.edgesapparel.com

New Year… New Journeys…New Collection

Work is well in progress for our 2016 Spring/Summer Collection. - A bright, sculptural, and arising perspective of the journeys of three women survivors of sexual trauma - 

Inspired by each of their own journeys and outlook on life, this collection acts to inform us of some of the implications of sexual trauma while inspiring us to become activity involved in our communities. 

Through interviewing and listening to each of these women’s story, we spoke on the emotions they exprienced following their trauma, how it has impacted their life, and where they are now in their journeys. The entirety of our 2016 spring/summer collection is to celebrate and look forwards into the future. 

"Following each interview, I had an overwhelming sense of discovery. Reflecting on the struggles each of these women worked through and specifically where they are now in their journeys, truly inspired my creativity. It was impossible for me to not to sense the passion that drives each of their work and purpose in life."  – Katie       


The collection’s color pallet and silhouettes are in direct reflection to each of the women’s journeys that were shared as the inspiration for these designs.  It has bright oranges and yellows intermingled in a blue and white progression pallet.  It has sharp geometric shapes both wrapping around and protruding out from the body. These shapes mixed with color, form clean silhouette designs that sit on the tipping point between luxury and sportswear. 

What is Responsible Fashion?

In resent years the fashion industry has had a surge in what’s called Fast Fashion.  The term Fast Fashion describes inexpensive clothing reflecting rapid trends seen on catwalks. These items are manufactured and produced as quickly as possible to be available for purchase for the mass market. Given the expectation to stay current with trends and to have an extremely low selling price, these products are often very low quality and are produced in environmentally harmful ways with minimal ethical standards. In neglecting these many components, there are voids in the wholesome value of a lot of clothes that are produced and sold everyday.

In response to the surge of Fast Fashion, an increasing number of apparel companies have changed their practices and new brands have come onto the fashion scene. A lot of this is being done in efforts to create more responsible fashion. The two main subject areas that are being focused on are, eco-sustainable and social responsible clothing. Companies are focusing on select facets of each of these to develop innovative advances that influence a higher level of ethics in the industry. For example, some companies are using recycled and sustainable materials, others are focusing on minimizing the amount of water used in production, and then some specifically stress the importance of giving back to the community.

With the creation of Edges Apparel, we aim to specifically target the social responsibility that fashion visually has in society.  We create style to visually communicate a greater purpose in our community. For us, fashion is a canvas that we can each visually express ourselves through. Our pieces are designed, based off of a specific message, to carry out a story as they are worn in everyday life.

       One of our looks that was shown in Fashion For The Fire 2015 inspired by a survivor of sexual trauma. 

Along with putting a prominent message within the design of our products, we also are slowing down the production timeline of our goods through lengthening the life cycle of each look. We are doing this by creating limited designs in the course of a year. This allows more time for the community to focus on the message behind each of our piece to create a greater social impact.

Our work is about creating quality designs with quality messages to further the impact of local causes. We view fashion as much more than just keeping up with the rapid trends in rapid production of goods. For us, fashion is a form of purposeful communication. This is why we are doing our part in the movement to interrupt the cycles of Fast Fashion.

Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go as Fast Fashion continues to influence the purchasing choices of many consumers today. We ask that you consider, what is responsible fashion? And, How are you going to reflect this in the way you dress and the future products you buy? 

Why “Edges Apparel”?

Here is a glimpse behind our ideation that directed us to our name choice. 

As we were creating and putting on our first fashion show, “Fashion For The Fire” we realized that the overarching idea and framework for our cause could be applied to many other topics and could even grow in scale. We determined that the essence of what we were doing was sharing stories, creating fashion, and advocating. Our mission is to design and create fashion pieces that are inspired by journeys of individuals that reflect and bring awareness to a social issue. In our partnership with local organizations, we raise proceeds and advocate on behalf of the given issue and cause through an artistic expression of fashion.

Reflecting on our work, we remind ourselves of the many people and organizations we had reached out to and all who were involved in our first collection. We realize that we brought many different people and organizations together for a common purpose. By taking something that can be seen as materialist and mixing it with a sensitive social issue to openly shared with the public, we discovered a mutual benefit to all who were involved.  

We recognized that, as community members and citizens of the world, it can and is easy for us to form our own comfort zones and ways of doing things and not expand much beyond them. In many ways this implies to our own notion of what fashion is, our ideas and reaction to social issues, our own culture and traditions, and the way in which we each live our lives. We acknowledge that comfort zones are not necessarily negative but in reflection of our work, we realized that we were merging boundaries between the distinct focuses of fashion, story telling, and advocacy to promote community prosperity.

To further pursue this mission in our work, we see ourselves going beyond preconceived edges and limits in the creation and sharing of our fashion lines. We strive to not be defined by our edges but to see them as opportunities and goals to overcome. Through these challenges, we are compelled to design and share with you this new approach to fashion and advocacy work.  

What Have We Been Up To ?

We know, it’s been over three months since Fashion for the Fire! Sometimes it’s unbelievable how time goes so fast.  We are starting this blog by sharing what we have been up to since our show, Fashion For The Fire

After the show, we were all very pleased at how it turned out and grateful towards everyone who was involved throughout the year leading up to it as well as everyone who assisted us the day of the event. Together we were all able to share awareness on the topic of sexual trauma and raise proceeds for the Firecracker Foundation.

As this was a yearlong project for us, following the show, we decided to slow things down in our lives. (well, just for a little bit). Anami and I focused on finishing up our semester, as this was our senior year at MSU. We were both pleased and excited to graduate on May 10th. As we walked across the stage, we could not be more pleased with all of the opportunities that we have had at MSU. 

 Katie on the left graduated with a BFA in Apparel and Textile Design, Anami on the right graduated with a BA in Apparel and Textile Design and Communications.  

Also, directly following the show, we knew that we wanted to further what we had already started due to our community’s response of our work.  As we have been lying low, we have also been moving forwards with plans of turning our one time event into a Lansing based company.  We are now Edges Apparel LLC!

Edges Apparel is about expanding the boundaries of what story telling and fashion can be to further foster our community’s prosperity.  Stay tune as we plan to share more with you about our purpose and ambitions!

While you’re here reading our blog, please explore the rest of our website! Feel free to comment, share, and like. You can also subscribe on our about page for monthly updates on our work!

 We plan to use this blog to inform the community on our work and share our thoughts on fashion and social justice.  We are eager to continue the work we started in 

Fashion For The Fire with Edges Apparel