Stewart Randolph, a junior in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, refuses to settle for mass-produced jeans – he designs and constructs his own instead.

Kelly Fraser
(Said Alsalah/Daily)

During the summer of 2006, Randolph became a self-taught designer whose only creative tool besides a sewing machine was his own motivation. Curiosity about the elements of jean production led him to take a short introductory sewing class, but after that, he was on his own.

To Randolph a sheet of denim is a canvas from which a pattern is sketched, cut out and sewn, but the process is hardly simplistic. Making one pair of jeans takes at least 10 hours of work.

Randolph’s style has evolved into what he calls “preppy with punkish elements.” This juxtaposition is especially memorable with the contrast of soft fabrics and hard details like zippers and graphic elements adorning back-pockets and belt loops. Giving jeans a unique design is challenging because of the garment’s nature as a basic wardrobe staple, so Randolph uses color for the stitching to make them more original.

As Randolph experiments with different forms of denim, like sea-foam, dark sand and thunder washes, he finds himself moving toward a more basic look and focusing on functionality within the stylistic elements of the jean.

Even though Randolph is focused on jeans, more types of clothes are being added to his collections. He plans to host a fashion show featuring 18 different looks composed of jackets, dresses and pants, in addition to his jeans, on April 4 at Arbor Vitae.

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