Christian Siriano has been pondering quite a bit about time currently.
There’s the nostalgia of the previous, which impressed his Spring 2022 present, but additionally the promise of the longer term, ushered in by the designers he mentored as a part of the SheIn x 100K Challenge sequence.
For the previous, he “went back to a simpler time,” Siriano tells Bustle of his assortment that debuted in September. “In a time when so many of us need an escape from the world, fashion is a great place to explore.”
His line of sharp tailor-made fits and cascading night robes was impressed by household holidays alongside the idyllic Italian shoreline.
“The old photographs of my grandmother in the ’60s and ’70s on holiday in Positano — wearing her apricot orange dress — inspired a collection filled with color and joy,” he says.
Also bringing him pleasure is the crop of designers he met by way of SheIn. He was a visitor decide for the model’s 100K Challenge series, a contest for rising expertise vying for a grand prize of $100,000 to go towards their business.
In addition to Siriano, the panel of judges included Khloé Kardashian, stylist Law Roach, business mogul Jenna Lyons, and InFashion editor Laurel Pantin.
“The young designers are so talented,” Siriano says. “When you hear their stories, some of them have really really struggled, and [it] was beautiful to see them thrive and get to be creative again.”
One such designer was Sasha Ruddock, the founding father of size-inclusive model Flaws of Couture who — spoiler alert! — received the competitors. As a girl with Jamaican heritage dwelling in Toronto, she says she by no means noticed herself represented in mainstream trend, which impressed her to begin her personal label.
“The message [behind the name] really is even though we may be flawed to some, we are high fashion,” Ruddock mentioned in a video interview with the model. “And we’re here to prove it.”
Not solely did Ruddock take dwelling the prize money, she additionally secured a function in SheIn’s Fashion Week showcase, the place she offered ’90s-inspired designs like puffer coats and bomber jackets.
Her win is much more inspiring given the pressures of lockdown, which noticed a number of established designers shutter or scale down their business.
Siriano says, for younger designers, the lockdown offered “a great opportunity for them to not give up.”
“That was why it was a really great experience filming,” he says. “It helps you remember why you love doing the job.”