What did you want to be when you grew up? A rock star? An astronaut? A fashion designer?
For the students at St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, every girl has the chance to be the latter with their own original fashion collection at the age of 16.
The school’s Clothing I and Clothing II courses provide students with hard skills to apply during their time at St. Hubert and into their careers beyond graduation.
Clothing students learn how to use a sewing machine and begin making projects such as pajama pants, aprons and beach bags. As students advance and learn the skills necessary to create more intricate projects, they design fashion collections of their own, including tops, bottoms and even their prom and graduation dresses.
At the end of the year, the juniors and seniors in the Clothing classes get to showcase their creations from the year in a full blown fashion show. Part social event, the students recruit their friends to help them model their designs. They walk in pairs to have the support of a Bambi by their side, as they present their hard work to the entire student body, faculty and family members.
This year’s fashion show had more than 60 students participating.
“I have one student, Diane, who’s going to be in the show this year. She tells me that when she was looking for a high school and she was in eighth grade, she came here because we had the sewing program. We’re the only school in the Archdiocese that has it,” said St. Hubert’s fashion design teacher Jill Smith.
Smith is a St. Hubert Bambi herself, graduating in 2016. During her time at St. Hubert, Smith thrived in the sewing programs and the fashion show was one of her favorite days of the year. So much so, that she then pursued fashion design at Thomas Jefferson University. After graduating in 2020, a Jefferson professor connected Smith to a nearby hat factory, American Hats.
“I trained for about a month, and it is completely different than sewing clothing. But I learned how to do it, and now I’ve been at the hat factory for three years, and it’s really fun,” she said.
It’s with the skills acquired and passion fostered in St. Hubert’s programs like its sewing clubs, classes and fashion show that allow for its graduates to have a head start onto a career path.
Marlene Olsen is another St. Hubert’s Bambi who ran with the fashion design opportunities that St. Hubert provides. A 2001 graduate, Olsen uses her expertise born from Clothing I and II at the New York Ballet as a costume designer.
It’s outcomes like these that reinforce St. Hubert’s breadth of programming in the creative fields, pairing students’ passions with learned skills to prepare them for life outside of St. Hubert’s walls while enjoying the time spent at school.