Colorado State University’s Design and Merchandising program is one of the best in the country. With an apparel design program ranked 17th nationally, it’s no surprise that Fort Collins is a major source of Colorado’s ever growing fashion scene. 2017’s graduating class was a strong group of creatives that can’t wait to get out in to the fashion world. We caught up with four of the most promising to ask them about their designs and see what they’re up to now. Inspired by everything from vintage fashion, to their world travels, these four Colorado State designers will without a doubt take the industry on with force. Whether they’ve set out to change the sustainability of the industry, or set out to inspire their own company or collections these designers are not ones to miss.

Heather Raney

Photo courtesy of Heather Raney

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2016 apparel design and production graduate, Heather Raney took her time at Colorado State University in stride. With a design style inspired by clean, simple lines and patterns, Raney is an outdoor/athleisure designer making waves in the industry. Spending her first experience in the industry designing for the famous outdoor apparel company, Patagonia, Raney has focused her designs on everyday wearablity and sustainability. We caught up with her to talk about her design style, inspiration and to see what she’s up to now. “I’m always inspired by nature, the desert in particular right now. I spend a lot of time in the desert whether it be backpacking, climbing or rafting, and every time I’m there I feel flooded with inspiration.” Raney said about her design and pattern inspiration. Raney is now sharing her eye for stylish outdoor apparel as an assistant buyer for Sierra Trading Post in Fort Collins. Still inspired with new design ideas and innovations, Raney is currently working on a new collection inspired by her travels through the Canyonlands. Watch out for her and check out her work on her website.

Allison Berger

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Drawing inspiration from the female figure, texture and flowers, Allison Berger is a designer that specializes in evening and formal wear that is elegant and stunning to say the least. With internships at D’Lola Couture and Marie Margot Bridal Couture under her belt, Berger stunned us with her designs and we couldn’t wait to talk to her about her style and inspirations. Berger designs her gowns with poise and beauty. “I would describe my design style as figure-flattering, show-stopping, romantic, delicate, glamorous and elegant but sexy at the same time. My designs depict my inspiration from the female figure, different textures and flowers,” said Berger. She is currently working on creating custom prom and wedding dresses while she establishes her up and coming brand. With the goal of becoming a well-known and international designer in sight, Berger is working on a fall collection that she can’t wait to share. “I am very excited about my new fall collection that I am working on. The textiles that I am working with are absolutely stunning,” she said. Based on her previous gowns, we can’t wait to see her new designs or what she has in store for the industry. You can see Berger’s beautiful designs for yourself when she showcases her new collection at Denver’s Unique Week of Fashion Fall 2017 on September 25.

Jennifer Vazquez

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Jenny Vazquez, a recent graduate from the apparel design program at CSU, specializes in women’s ready-to-wear fashion. Though Vazquez has dabbled in designing everything from athletic wear, to handbags, she finds her inspiration in the clean lines and structure of women’s fashion. “I would describe my style as contemporary modern with vintage references. I love clean lines, texture, prints and beautiful details. I also do metalwork, textile design and love working with leather, all of which can often be seen in my designs,” Vazquez said when we asked about her work. Vazquez is currently working in graphic design and production with Akinz Boardwear in Fort Collins and partnering with Embrazio — an emerging leather belt and bag company based in Boulder. “My career goals mainly include starting my own business. I have been working very hard to learn every part of entrepreneurship and am hoping to launch my brand French Cartel, within the year. Everything is still in the works but I am very excited for the craziness to begin.” Vazquez has big plans for her designs, from working with varying materials, to playing with textures, her designs are simplistic, stunning and we just can’t get enough. Though she’s still in the idea stage, we can’t wait to see what she has in store. Keep up with her and her work  — trust me you won’t be disappointed  — on her website.

Nina Mascheroni

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With a knack for designing clothes full of prints and colors, Nina Mascheroni is a master at creating fun and wearable clothing that is fresh and new in the fashion world. After winning “most marketable” at the annual CSU Fashion Show, we had to talk to her about her designs. “I like to design clothes that people have fun in and feel like they are expressing themselves when they wear them. I like to design with a lot of prints and colors.” Mascheroni said about her design style and inspirations. Now living in Brooklyn, New York, Mascheroni is working as a freelance technical designer at Johnathan Simkhai and with a few independent designers as well. Seeing the problems with production and design processes, Mascheroni aims to guide the industry in a new direction “I believe the industry is up for a big change and I’m hoping I can be a part of that. I want to either work for or create a company that is focused on sustainability in the fashion industry. There is so much over development, waste and excess in the current fashion industry. I want to help guide the industry to a new standard.” Mascheroni dreams of creating a more sustainable industry that caters to more than just one woman. Her designs are inspired by women that love to express themselves and aren’t afraid to be bold and break the traditional fashion rules. With these inspirations in mind, Mascheroni’s next collection will focus on using more sustainable textiles and  — possibly — feature some pieces made from upcycled materials and textiles. Keep up with her on her website.

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