Mikayla Frick, an apparel textile design major at Michigan State, became interested in fashion design at a young age. Since then, she’s been building her brand at MSU on her journey as a fashion designer and has recently taken her designs to the runway.
Her journey to the runway
Frick, now a senior, is set to graduate in December 2019.
MSU was not the only college choice she had. In fact, she was accepted into the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. In the end, she said MSU was her final choice because of her family’s affiliation with the school.
Apparel and textile design, or ATD, was not Frick’s first major at MSU. She started off on a pre-med path ventured off into business and eventually became an ATD major.
“Once you get into those design classes, something just clicked and I just found what I loved,” Frick said. “It was something about just being able to express myself with no words and just however I wanted to with fabric on these body forms. I give a lot of credit to my professors in that program. They are amazing.”
Frick didn’t start designing until her junior year at MSU when she was in her first fashion show for VIM Magazine and the ATD program.
After those experiences, she decided to seek opportunities outside of MSU in the world of fashion.
One of these opportunities was Kansas City Fashion Week.
“In order to apply you had to have a whole social media account,” Frick said. “You had to have a website, you have to have all these things that they were looking for and there were questions like, ‘What is your business profiting?’” she said. “I was just honest ... I got an interview, I flew out there, did the interview, and I didn’t get in. The word ‘no’ makes me work harder.”
After applying twice more, Frick still didn’t get in, but she was able to get into other fashion events such as STYLEWEEK Northeast in Rhode Island last February — which was featured in Forbes Magazine. Frick has also shown at Identities Fashion Show at Harvard University. And her latest show was Boston Fashion Week.
“I just wish I could tell people just because one person says no, it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough,” Frick said.
Frick works alone on her designs, but has help from her boyfriend, who handles calling models and scheduling.
“I was in the studio for this season, the entire summer, every day, all day. There was nothing else,” Frick said. “I didn’t really get to go out with my friends. I didn’t really get to do anything else. And on top of that, I was working another side job just to pay for some of the expenses of what I was doing.”
She said balancing various things — like work, school and passions — comes with sacrifices, but it’s possible.
Seeing her designs on the runway
Frick said when her designs are on the runway, she wants people to feel the experience and to be entirely engaged.
“I truly love (the runway). I’m so passionate about it and I get to work with so many incredible people,” Frick said. “I never know what the next day is going to bring, or the next opportunity, and that’s real. I got to work with this past August, Coco Rosa. She’s a supermodel she is one of the most well-known for posing. She’s been in Vogue, she’s like a legend and she runs these model camps and modeling has been something that I’ve been always interested on the side.”
One of Frick’s biggest goals is to decide whether or not to feature her designs in stores.
“I’ve done a lot of research on that,” she said. “I started my online website, of selling, so I definitely want to focus on that and really start getting into stores. That’s the biggest goal. And finding a manufacturer is another goal because right now I do everything by myself. My couture will always be done by myself, but my more ready to wear stuff, that is something that ... I can’t keep up.”
As for after graduation, Frick said she hasn’t made up her mind on what her next plan is. But she is open to the idea of being unsure.
“I am okay with taking another job and trying to balance the two. That’s fine with me and just being able to learn from other people,” she said.
Frick does have some advice for beginner fashion designers that she has learned over the years.
“You have to have the work ethic because it’s not going to be easy,” Frick said. “I can tell you that right now. Nothing that you have to work that hard for is going to be easy, but as long as you’re willing to put the work in and you’re not afraid of hard work and you’re understanding and not comparing yourself, you’ll get there.”