Student Stories: Bhavana Jain

Bhavana Jain

Major: Fashion Studies

Painting, drawing, sketching and sewing consumed Bhavana Jain’s time as a child.

“I realized later that fashion itself was also an art form,” she said. “Raised in an Indian household, I was exposed to Indian clothing and loved wearing my traditional Indian garments just as much as traditional American dresses. I always imagined combining different design elements of both to create a fusion piece that expressed all of my cultural heritage.”  

After a thorough Internet search, Jain discovered College of DuPage and was impressed by what it had to offer. She first wanted to fine-tune her skills and began with a basic sewing class. After taking several courses, she decided to pursue a certificate in Fashion Design, which allowed her to balance school with her full-time job as a clinical pharmacist at Central DuPage Hospital.

Jain believes the program’s reputation in the Chicago area has led to many opportunities, from the annual College of DuPage fashion show to various internships.

“While I was at COD, I first submitted garments to a show and was able to share my work with my colleagues. It’s such a wonderful feeling when you see your creation in a fashion show!” she said. “Soon after, I completed an internship with Supreme Novelty Fabrics in Chicago, where I learned about different textiles and was inspired to create fusion garments. I then participated in two other design competitions through Supreme Novelty Fabrics, and each time my confidence grew in showcasing my work, and I was able to improve on my sewing techniques and my designs.”

After finishing her Fashion Entrepreneurship certificate and Fashion Design certificate, Jain launched her own business, BhavyJ Designs, and released her debut collection online. She was featured in Voyage-Chicago and participated in Midwest Fashion Week Chicago and Indianapolis, where she was a featured designer. 

“I am creating Indian garments with American contemporary influences along with American contemporary garments with Indian influences,” she said. “I feel that every woman is always looking for something unique and different to wear that can express herself in a positive way.”


In 2019, Jain released her second collection of BhavyJ Designs. She decided to rebrand in 2020 to BHAV and describes her work as “sophisticated, versatile clothing tailored to fit the wardrobe of modern women. Inspired by South Asian heritage fabrics and timeless style, we aim to redefine what fusionwear can be.” In 2021, she launched the BHAV Home Collection.

Jain has shared her story and journey through articles and podcasts and uses these platforms to inspire others to pursue their passion. She is currently working on a new concept that will tap into the South Asian bridal space and will be released in early 2024.

In addition, Jain has become the co-director of Fashion Group International (FGI) Chicago, a nonprofit fashion professional organization with members in all aspects of the fashion industry, spanning designers, stylists, beauty, accessory designers and even interiors.

FGI Chicago

“The goal with our events is to bring people together to network and make connections, as well as arrange meaningful and educational programs for our attendees,” she said. “We have partnered with Neiman Marcus, Tricoci, Macy’s, the Chicago Fashion Incubator, local Chicago modeling agencies as well as Chicago stylists, just to name a few. It is my goal to uphold the mission of FGI and help connect and promote Chicago fashion. It brings me such joy to meet not only established fashion related businesses in Chicago but also connect with up-and-coming brands and businesses. There is so much to learn from one another and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.

“It’s always important to remember your roots and where you came from. Dreams rarely happen overnight, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to continue on.” 

Jain is thankful to College of DuPage for providing the opportunity to pursue her dream and allowing her to study with instructors who are well-established in the field. 

“I developed wonderful relationships with my professors, and I never hesitate to ask them for career advice. They are very passionate about teaching students,” she said. “It’s never too late to pursue your passion as a career. For me, this process of transitioning careers has been, and continues to be, a learning process. If you are motivated and have a vision, go for it!

IG: @shopbhav

“It’s also important to surround yourself with a strong support system and people who believe in you and your vision. The Fashion Studies program at COD is a great entry way for people who are interested in pursuing a career in fashion. The relationships and people you meet will definitely go a long way.”