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Fashion Student Earns Spot in Global Fur Competition

Whitney Stahl

By Brian Kleemann

College of DuPage Fashion Studies student Whitney Stahl of Lisle is one of only two designers from the U.S. selected for Remix 2018/2019, a global fur competition sponsored by the International Fur Federation.

Stahl submitted her designs for a three-piece collection with a focus on nature, and she pushed herself to incorporate current trends.

“Remix is an exciting opportunity to get my foot into the industry,” she said. “There’s so much you can do with fur and so many techniques you can use. I wanted to come up with unique ideas in highlighting my collection.”

Stahl has always been a creative person, even if her initial career path went in a different direction. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies but never lost touch with her artistic side.

Having lived in Arizona, California, Colorado, South Carolina and Grand Cayman, Stahl returned to Lisle and enrolled in the Fashion Studies program at COD.

“Wearable and usable art is more exciting than something you put on a wall,” she said. “I wanted to learn everything about fashion. I wanted to know how to pick up fabric and scissors and make it perfect while exploring the innovative side of fashion business as well as the science behind it. My goal right now is to discover where I want to focus.”

It was during a bridal couture class at COD that Stahl and her classmates visited York Furrier in Elmhurst, which sparked her interest in fur that eventually led to Remix. Stahl considers Kathy Rezny at York Furrier a mentor and worked with her on the designs. This summer, Stahl will travel to New York and begin fabrication of her contest entries with Pologeorgis before returning to finish them with York Furrier.

Currently, Stahl is developing a social media presence, which is an integral part of the competition. Check out her Instagram account. Her goal is to be invited as a Remix finalist to show off her work in Milan in February 2019.

Stahl is already earning praise for her designs. During the 2018 fashion show annually produced at COD by students in the Fashion Studies program, she won the top award as Outstanding Designer. Eva Stevens, Fashion Studies program coordinator, is impressed with Stahl’s work and vision.

“Whitney has an edge of fearlessness and is so courageous with her designs,” she said. “She doesn’t worry about what others are doing. I expect good things to come from her career.” 

Stahl is excited about the Remix competition, which is judged by Vogue Italia, and she wants to continue learning as much as possible about fashion. Having already earned the Fashion Design and Fashion Entrepreneurial certificates, she would like to take more classes at COD before transferring to a fashion school to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“COD has helped me tremendously toward my new career,” she said. “I bought a sewing machine five years ago and came to COD only knowing how to play around on it. Now I’ve learned so much and it’s very exciting. If I hadn’t come to COD, I wouldn’t have known my potential. Now I want to work with big-name brands and labels and be involved with fashion weeks. I want to go everywhere with what I’m learning.”

Learn more about the Fashion Studies program.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 26,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

Pictured: Whitney Stahl holds one of her winning designs for the Remix competition. (Photo by Press Photography Network/Special to College of DuPage)

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