Major: Fashion Studies
Sarah Bhaidani has always shown her uniqueness through her clothes.
“When I was young, I enjoyed playing with Barbie dolls but I was always more interested in the clothes they wore than anything else,” she said. “I would spend most of my time drawing clothes and costumes. I started to seriously consider fashion as a career my senior year of high school but even then I was wary about my decisions.”
After graduation, Bhaidani was still unsure of what to do, so she enrolled at College of DuPage. It turned out to be the best decision she could have made because she found the Fashion Studies program.
“I learned so much from my professors and even those I didn’t take classes with,” she said. “My time at COD helped me grow and mature in ways I didn’t know I could. I learned skills and made contacts that will aid me in my goal to make a name for myself in the fashion community.”
My time at COD helped me grow and mature in ways I didn’t know I could.
During “Elements,” the program’s annual fashion show, Bhaidani received the Judge’s Choice Award for Outstanding Creativity. It gave her a feeling of accomplishment and was the first step toward reaching her goals.
“The award only strengthened and gave me the motivation to continue on my path and do bigger and better things,” she said.
In 2016, Bhaidani participated in COD’s Study Abroad program to Japan.
“Japanese is also a passion alongside fashion, so it was just the greatest opportunity for me to experience the culture firsthand,” she said. “I hope to do business in Japan one day with my career.”
Bhaidani finished her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design at Columbia College. While there, she enjoyed a design internship with a brand called Drink Black Water.
In 2020, she took a proactive approach during the pandemic.
“It was a tough year for the world. Life started to become an odd mix of fear and monotony. But one thing remained constant: masks,” she said. “I spent the first few months of quarantine working with a local nonprofit to sew face masks for my community, which inspired me to design my own masks on the side.”
She launched her Etsy store in July and started selling several designs, including the “Conversations” face mask, which she created with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in mind.
Currently working on the launch of her own website and expanding her business, Bhaidani said students should always chase their dreams.
“College of DuPage is full of opportunities and guidance, and I encourage anyone considering COD to enroll immediately because it has some of the best professors in the industry, especially in the Fashion Studies program,” she said. “I have learned more in one class at COD than I did in one semester in high school.
“Your dream is the most precious thing; don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. It is also important to make ends meet, and the job search isn't always an easy one. So don’t let having a job unrelated to your field plant a seed of doubt in your mind. Work hard, keep your eyes and your mind open to new opportunities, and never give up on yourself.”