St. Mark's alumna Amanda Abend '14 (pictured at right making final adjustments to one of her gowns) was recently winner of the Saks Fifth Avenue 2018 Emerging Designer Award at the Washington University Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts' 89th annual Spring Fashion Design Show.
A senior at Washington University at St. Louis, Mandy Abend's "Uncrossed" was among this year's capstone collections at the show. Inspired by her grandmother's love of crossword puzzles, Abend created an intricate, laser-cut pattern in which random squares are filled with colored resin.
"My grandma suffered from multiple sclerosis," Abend (pictured at left) explained. But she also had "the most incredible sense of confidence. Writing with her only functioning limb, she would zip through crosswords without looking up." To Abend's family, those crosswords became "a powerful symbol for my grandma's ability to overcome adversity."
Abend designed several outfits for the show (pictured below), on her way to winning the Emerging Designer Award. Her designs are now on exhibit at Saks Fifth Avenue.in St. Louis.