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By Alexandra McLeod

Name: Taylor Swaim
Hometown: Boyne City, MI
Major: Fashion Design and Art

When and how did you learn to design?

It was all self-taught. I started in 5th grade with handbags. I had this design book, “school of design” or something, it came with little patterns. I just went from there.

What made you decide to design for MODA this year?

I’m a senior and I’ve wanted to every year I’ve been here but I didn’t have the courage, or the time, to put in. I’m ready now.

Tell me about your fall 2012 collection.

It’s a fall-winter line with a Norwegian and Russian influence; lots of furs, layers, bright colors, and structured silhouettes.

Where do you go for inspiration when designing?

I look at art, its always been in my life. I also look at history and different cultures, National Geographic magazines.

When did you start constructing dresses?

I made all of my own dresses for dances starting my sophomore year. A girl from school wanted a dress because everyone knew I could sew, then everyone wanted dresses made by me. It kept growing and growing so I started my own business!

How long would it take you to complete each dress?

I would say it took a week. I sewed mainly party dresses. One dance, I made three dresses! I was exhausted, I skipped school because I had so much to finish and I just wanted to get it done. I continued making them my freshmen year of college but it got to be too much so I had to stop.

What do you hope to gain from this experience?

Well I hope to be able to learn how to develop a line, and getting myself out there. “I’m here!!”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Living in a big city working as a creative director, whether it be in an editorial sense or a clothing environment.

What is your favorite current fashion trend?

Honestly, I don’t look at fashion trends, I wear what I like, I do what I like.

Who is your favorite designer?

Jenni Kayne

What are your favorite brands or stores you shop at?

H&M because its cheap! I do go to Urban (Outfitters) every once in a while… I go thrift store shopping, Up north it’s heaven for thrift shopping!

More designer profiles will be featured on MODA Style Blog as our Fall 2012 fashion show approaches!