Stacey Ducksworth “My teachers criticize my dresses a lot. But that’s what I like. Because when I get into the real world, I’ll have to take a lot of criticism.”

When Stacey Ducksworth goes to look at the trendy clothes on Melrose Avenue, the first thing he does is turn the garment inside out. “I look at a dress, and it looks beautiful on the outside,” he says. “But often it’s totally ugly inside.” This SMC fashion design student knows very well that a dress that has unfinished edges wouldn’t pass inspection at SMC.

“The teachers here are very demanding and that’s great,” Stacey says. “Every time I bring a dress in, they look inside the dress. If it’s just as good on the inside as on the outside, they know that I’ve done a good job. And if it’s not,” he adds, “they make me do it over again.”

Stacey credits his instructors Phyllis Madison and Fereshteh Mobasheri for teaching him “how to be a well-rounded designer. One teaches me how to make a dress in 15 minutes that would sell in K-Mart,” he says. “And the other shows me how to make dresses for upwardly mobile stores such as Bloomingdale’s.”

Stacey—who began designing in 7th grade in his native Jackson, Mississippi—specializes in designing women’s high fashion clothing. “I want to make my dresses classics. I want to design for an international woman; to design dresses that can be worn all year around and that will last for at least five years. To combine all of that in one garment,” says Stacey in summing up his philosophy, “is what I call creativity.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.