Student designer Robertson Scholar is paving his way to study fashion
“It’s a huge fashion inspiration, because I used to be someone who really sticks to trends a lot, like my Pinterest boards and my TikTok stuff,” Jamie Chingy, a photographer and model who worked with Rakhman Gerardi on their collection for Ginger Marie, said. “But even looking at Juniper’s wardrobe, I would say it’s very inspiring because they really do what they want.”
Coming from a mixed Mi’maq, Jewish and Italian heritage background, multiculturalism is also a major influence in Rahman Girardi’s independent designs.
“I would say my determination is shaped by who I am,” Rahman Girardi said. “It’s been shaped by the ancestors who made me who I am, as well as all the places I’ve had the opportunity to visit, and the places I haven’t had the opportunity to visit, that I’ve heard about throughout fashion history. Studies, through fashion studies, through looking at “Designers from the last several centuries, that kind of thing.”
On their mother’s side, Rahman Girardi is part of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Canada. They have been involved in on-campus groups such as the Carolina Indian Circle and have built a supportive community within the American Indian Center.
“It always makes me happy to see Juniper smile,” said Koa Adkins, AIC’s Indigenous Student Engagement Coordinator. “They just light up the room when you’re around them.”
Sustainability is also an important value in Rahman Girardi’s design work. Her designs are mostly made from sustainable materials such as old or used clothing and textiles.
“I love textiles and fashion, but I also love nature and the outdoors,” Rahman Girardi said. “And I know that the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters of the planet ever, so that’s a trend I’m trying to work against while also being able to make something unique and artistic.”
Ultimately, their goal is to create their own brand or direct creative for another brand. As of now, Rahman Girardi is working on a new collection of completely recycled clothing that will be released in the spring.
They will be holding a fashion show for the collection on campus and it will be available for purchase through Rachman Girardi’s brand, Little Rabbit Boutique.
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