‘Cutting Edge,’ A’GACI draw Fiesta crowd

By Victoria O’Connor


A sold-out show of nearly 600 guests filled McCombs Center Rosenberg Skyroom at the 37th annual “Cutting Edge” Fiesta Fashion Show held Wednesday, April 19.

The show showcased fashions created by senior designers Natalia Hendrichs, Olivia Willms, Chyanne Torres, Tiffany White, Natasha Andrews, Valeria Reding, Felisa Santillan and Patrick Martinez.

Each seniors’ collection was judged by industry professionals on design and construction, along with an audience vote on their favorite line.

Hendrichs took home the “Best in Show” award with a perfect score on four of her garments, along with first place in design and construction.

“The clothing collection was called ‘Three Sides to a Story, which means there’s three very important people in my life which is my mom and my two brothers,” Hendrichs said. “My little brother comes in; he’s a Star Wars fan. That’s basically the whole theme of my collection. My mom is an architect so there’s a lot of straight lines, a lot of angles, a lot of triangles and geometric shapes.”

Also, featured in this year’s show was the first graduating class in fashion product development as they presented their creations in the A’GACI Challenge Product Development Runway Presentation.

“In the summer A’GACI approached us and said ‘We want to do a contest with your students, would they design a line of fast fashion for A’GACI,’ ”said Teri Lopez, a senior instructor.  “We said ‘Sure, we’ll do it.’ We set it up and we already had them in teams. So they did spreadsheets, already-done illustrations, and some of them were already doing fast fashion. They like the young urban woman that you can buy an outfit for under $50. It’s like Forever 21.”

The students were placed into teams of three and four and given a $500 budget for materials. A’GACI offered $6,000 in prize money in scholarship for the product development teams. Each team had the chance to win a first-place $3,000 price, second-place $2,000 prize, or third-place $1,000 prize, as well as present their designs at the show.

“Before it was only seniors in the design major who would get to partake [in ‘Cutting Edge’] and merchandising seniors and junior would help organize the show alongside staff,” said senior Rex Zapata, a major in fashion product development. “This year is unique in the way that it is now incorporated our class. Product development is most typically thought of as the midpoint between merchandising and fashion design.”

Zapata said the target market for A’GACI is women who want to be fashionable on a budget.

“Locally A’GACI is known for being very budget-friendly, and something you can go into the store and find an on-trend outfit or piece at a low-price point,” Zapata said. “So for millennials –as we are the growing market – (it) is more fashion-oriented. The A’GACI girl is going to be a girl who is fun, sexy, sophisticated, and is also going to be price-conscious. So she is going to be aware of what she’s spending, but also wants to look top-dollar.”


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