(L-to-R) Catherine Hake ’19; Samantha Knaust ’20; Stephanie Carlo, assistant professor of fashion; Rose Carter ’20 and Jillian Turner ’20 traveled to New York for Fashion Week this month.

Three students and a recent graduate of Stephens’ fashion design and product development program were featured at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) on Sept. 7. Along with students from Lindenwood University and Moore College of Art & Design, these young designers participated in the NYC Fashion Industry Practicum by Global Design Feature.

The trip featured meetings and mentorships with industry professionals, museum tours and visits to fashion shows, and culminated in a show with professional models, hair and makeup artists from New York and a full backstage production team.  

Catherine Hake ’19, Jillian Turner ’20, Samantha Knaust ’20 and Rose Carter ’20 showcased their collections to an international audience of designers and media houses.

“It was such an honor to have been part of the biggest week in the design world,” Turner said. “As with every show, there were bound to be some hiccups, but our teachers and students pushed through to present the best showcase I could imagine.”

Turner observed how her education at Stephens had prepared her for the event. “I've learned that Stephens knows how to teach construction better than anyone—all of the Stephens women had the best constructed garments and knew how to do fittings on the spot,” she said. “Having the annual fashion show at Stephens helped us have a mindset of what to look for and avoid backstage, and to know what is going on at all times.”

Stephanie Carlo, assistant professor of fashion, said 2019 marks the first year that current Stephens students have presented at NYFW, and the design faculty hopes the opportunity will continue for subsequent classes.

“As a fashion designer, this represents a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Carlo said. “We believe this is a great way for our seniors to network and develop professional relationships for future endeavors.”

Meet the Designers

Catherine Hake Headshot2

Catherine Hake '19 is a freelance fashion designer who founded Josephine Alexandra Designs in 2017, inspired by her grandmother, who, Hake says, was known for her fashion sense.

“Josephine Alexandra is the result of many years of hard work, little sleep, loads of determination, and one too many cups of coffee,” Hake said. “I’m proud to create pieces that are feminine, sophisticated, and timeless.”

At NYFW, Hake presented “Serendipity,” a collection influenced by her travels to France, luxury French fashion and the art of burlesque.



Jillian Turner Headshot2Jillian Turner '20, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri, has loved clothing and fashion since she was little, and found her love for sewing while helping her grandmother make quilts. She took sewing classes throughout high school and entered multiple competitions.

“I knew this was the career for me, so I applied to Stephens College for their fashion program,” she said.

Turner has twice showcased her work in The Collections, Stephens’ student-run fashion show. At NYFW, she presented “L’Appel Du Vide” (translated: The Call of the Void), a collection developed through her continuing fight with depression.

“I wanted people to understand the feeling of being engulfed in overwhelming feelings and the burden of constant darkness and despair,” Turner said. “My collection uses a color pallet that depicts the struggle between light and dark, and the transition of body conscious to self-love.”

Turner hopes to raise awareness of mental health through her design work, especially, she said, due to the rise in cases among college students.


Rose Carter finalRose Carter '20 was born and raised in Missouri. From a young age, she considered herself an artist, drawing and painting whenever she could. Inspired by the world around her, Carter uses vibrant, bold colors and prints, crafting them into feminine styles with a structural edge. She takes inspiration from nature, art, music, and history.

“By combining bold hues and prints with modern silhouettes, I create fresh designs perfect for the confident woman,” Carter said.

“‘Forbidden Fruit,’ the collection I presented at NYFW, is inspired by the Christian belief of the original sin, when Eve consumed the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”




Samantha Knaust NYFWSamantha Knaust '20 focuses on textile and print designs, favoring an extensive color palette and elaborate graphic patterns. 

The eighth child born to a family of ten, she said her love of fashion and art was evident at a very young age.

“Always being surrounded by creatives, I spent many hours drawing and making clothes for all my Barbie dolls,” Knaust said.

Now, she looks to various art styles and art history to create fresh ideas within her designs.

Her collection presented at NYFW, “Touch of an Angel,” is inspired by the painting “The Birth of Venus” and cherubs in Renaissance paintings. 


Watch these designers in action at New York Fashion Week: Catherine Hake, Jillian Turner, Rose Carter and Samantha Knaust

Tags : Student Success, Alumnae Achievement, School of Design, Fashion

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