Attire Design and style senior Kaleb Duncan is identified by Kei Ai in the vogue neighborhood. His alias, which arrives from the phonetic spelling of his to start with and middle initials, “serves as a fragmentation” of himself as a designer.
LSU college students may know him as the cheerful and joking cashier in the On-The Geaux retail store in the Scholar Union, where he is effective total time.
Duncan took a crack from school to emphasis on his craft, and takes advantage of his occupation at the College student Union to assistance his fashion endeavors. He options to go back again to faculty in the Fall of 2023.
“I experienced a good deal going on and I preferred to focus on me staying a designer, so I pulled back again from LSU to recenter myself,” Duncan mentioned.
Duncan’s interest in trend started off in 2016, in the course of his junior 12 months of large faculty. Although in an sophisticated IB art course, he started out experimenting with apparel and discovered how to function a stitching equipment. He continued to self-train himself as a result of trial and mistake.
“Once I chose [fashion design] there was no turning back again … It is a medium I can use to specific myself, feelings, tales,” Duncan said. “Fashion is a language, and garments are the way you communicate.”
When he very first arrived to LSU, Duncan prepared to research electrical engineering. He switched to vogue mainly because he felt much more snug with it, and saw areas of engineering in style style.
“Fashion is just engineering with material. [Designer Issey Miyake] went to university for architecture, and he takes advantage of his architecture and displays it in his do the job, and I feel that we are comparable in that element,” Duncan said. “It’s blending two supposedly opposite fields into just one stunning merchandise.”
Duncan now designs every thing from womenswear to menswear, and is currently working on outfits for an future wedding. He wants to begin internet marketing his garments towards college-age people who are getting themselves.
Duncan’s brand name, Dragonflies Purple, or DFP, is a reflection of his targets in daily life.
“My favored insect is a dragonfly mainly because of its symbolism – they characterize going through everyday living when and with no regrets. They’re also an animal of hope, perseverance and luck. And the shade purple signifies mystique, so all together it signifies the royal thriller of discovering yourself and becoming capable to adapt to any situation you go by means of,” Duncan said.
In 2019, Duncan started doing style shows about Louisiana, with appearances in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport. His first out-of-state display was in September 2021, where he was showcased in an indie manner 7 days in New York City.
“[The New York show] definitely improved my whole viewpoint on the course I was heading in the direction of,” Duncan stated.
The topic for Duncan’s New York collection was “When Cultures Collide,” the place he merged features of Asian society with elements of Black culture. Though his outfits ended up on show, anime intro songs played, intermixed with Black animation intro tunes.
“One of the major influences in my lifetime is tradition … I have many resources [of inspiration] I draw from, no matter whether it is songs, anime, folks I discuss to, activities or my interpretation of a thing,” Duncan claimed.
Being a pupil at LSU has genuinely helped him in the vogue industry, Duncan states, noting that the human being who launched him to vogue reveals was a fellow LSU university student.
“If I did not go to LSU, I would not have achieved a bunch of people today that launched me to fashion,” Duncan said.
Duncan has huge ideas for the foreseeable future, with multiple impending jobs lined up for the adhering to months.
“My intention for the long term is to make a brand that resonates with a bunch of people today, and to be able to express myself through fashion thought video clips, and to be able to convey forth a thing everybody can comprehend … I also want to develop into a designer regarded for their complex capability,” Duncan claimed.
Duncan is also getting ready for a swimsuit video clip shoot in August, placing together a website and on the web keep to start in September, and has future options for an anime girl cosplay shoot and a menswear shoot.
Trend has taught Duncan lessons on perseverance and believing in himself.
“Some critical factors I have realized in the market [is] being tenacious and not staying far too hard on oneself, because I’ve viewed just about every time I went to a style demonstrate, I was usually the youngest there, and it’s really scary … You are just like the new kid on the block, you’re just rising, you don’t really know how other people will see your selection,” Duncan stated.
Duncan has confronted hardships and fiscal limitations in the style business, but he encourages other designers to not give up on their dreams and go on operating to get far better.
“I assume greater for myself each individual time. I just appeared at my New York [collection], and all people cherished it, but I know I can do better. Each individual time I make something I try out to outdo myself, minor by very little,” Duncan claimed. “Even if it’s not your ideal, you will be capable to do better upcoming time … You are a great deal far better than you give your self credit for.”
Duncan can be located at @dragonfliespurple on Instagram.