Student Designing Her Future One Fashion Show at a Time

Apparel and Textile Design senior Mikayla Frick has participated in several fashion shows and recently showcased her collection at STYLEWEEK Northeast (SWNE), New England’s premier fashion week in Providence, Rhode Island.

“Participating in SWNE allowed me to watch my dreams come to life and see all the hard work I put into this walk down the runway,” Frick said. “There is no feeling like that.”

STYLEWEEK, which aims to connect buyers and the media with emerging design talent, provided Frick with top-notch, professional treatment.

Photo of person wearing a black dress with a grey blazer and a black purse standing in front of a wall that says StyleWeek
Mikayla Frick

“I had an entire team from hair and makeup to producers and lighting, all revolving around my needs to make this a successful show,” Frick said.

Frick’s collection for the show consisted of 12 sleek, yet bold, pieces. Using unique structures to nonverbally tell stories and evoke emotions in her audience, Frick pushed against the norm by experimenting with unconventional materials and projecting from the surface with her exclusive designs.

“My biggest inspiration for the pieces I created for SWNE was different events, both good and bad, that have happened in my lifetime,” Frick said. “I have always been one to see the good in everything, and design allows me to make the good of the bad and nonverbally tell the stories of my life.”

I have always been one to see the good in everything, and design allows me to make the good of the bad and nonverbally tell the stories of my life.


Many of the designs from the collection were created as part of Frick’s Apparel and Textile Design classes with Associate Professor Theresa Winge and Academic Specialist Rebecca Schuiling.

“If it was not for them [Winge and Schuiling], I would not be where I am today,” Frick said. “There is something about the way they teach and critique that is just right. They both understand how to embrace every design and critique it just enough that it makes you really think and pushes you.”

Besides Winge and Schuiling, Frick also credits MSU’s Apparel and Textile Design Program with preparing her for the experience.

“This program separates MSU from other universities,” she said. “It is hands-on and really focuses on the main aspects of designing in the industry from concepts, to sketches, to design, to sewing, then seeing it all come together.”

Photo of person walking down a runway wearing a long yellow dress
One of Mikayla Frick’s designs on the runway at STYLEWEEK Northeast.

STYLEWEEK works directly with universities and colleges from across the country to identify the most driven talent to participate in this bi-annual fashion week. The students come together for one show where they are judged by an industry panel of fashion and press professionals. Students also are given the opportunity to connect with designers and industry professionals.

“SWNE gave me the opportunity to network with and meet people in the fashion industry and I got to meet so many new designers who I now look up to,” Frick said.

Frick was part of Season 16 of STYLEWEEK Northeast, which took place January 31 to February 2 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

Other Fashion Show Experiences

Frick’s designs also have appeared at other fashion shows, including Reflect Raw Artists in Detroit and the International Couture Collections held at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.

“These shows can be cutthroat and very stressful, but there is absolutely nothing more rewarding than watching my designs walk down the runway,” Frick said. “I created designs for these shows that told a story, evoked emotions from the audience, and showed cohesiveness while being different. There is a lot more that goes into one show than many know, but it is well worth it.”

Photo of a person zipping up the back of someone's white dress
Mikayla Frick preparing one of her designs for the runway at STYLEWEEK Northeast.

Frick also will participate in Harvard College Identities at Harvard University on Sunday, March 31, and the VIM fashion show on MSU’s campus in April. Most recently, her designs were featured in the ATD pop-up fashion show on March 22 in the MSU Horticulture Gardens.

Frick will be featured in British Vogue’s May edition, to be released April 5, with a photo of her work and words about herself as a designer.

A Passion from an Early Age

Frick’s passion for the fashion industry started at an early age.

“Growing up, I was always the one to dress differently and I have always been fascinated by everything fashion,” she said. “I have always been a driven individual and my biggest inspiration has been my dad because he created his own business from nothing.”

Frick plans to graduate in December 2019 and has no set plan, but that excites her.

“I have no idea where I will be a month from now, let alone six months,” Frick said, “but I will continue to embrace what comes my way every day and put 100 percent of my effort into each day.”

For those students considering going into the fashion industry, Frick shares this piece of advice: “To be successful, you have to really want it. You have to be willing to work like someone is trying to take it away from you, 24 hours a day.”