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The Future of Fashion

Informal educators create makerspace for youth and local makers to prototype wearable technology.

This one-day event is to expose girls (ages 8-16 years old) to people, places, and possibilities available for designing and creating new products/services to foster and entrepreneurial spirit. Participants will hear panel discussions featuring local women entrepreneurs embracing the Maker Movement to rethink beauty, health, hair, and fashion.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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December 2018
Sewing was a perfect way to incorporate fashion into our existing program. Sewing can be simple or complex, fast or slow, independent and interdependent. There are a number of professions that use sewing, from cosmologist to heart surgery. Everything about creating a fashion look relates to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M).

About the innovation

What is The Future of Fashion

In 2018, WQED's Education Department applied for the Great Remake grant opportunity sponsored by Remake Learning. The submission "Slaying the Future", with the goal to expose participants to African-American women trailblazing in the Maker Movement as well as give them the opportunity to contemplate how might they address health or beauty concerns affecting African-American women. The day will kick-off with participants learning about the makerspaces opportunities in the city and thinking about the problems we want to solve. Then learners will hear from two panels of locals African-American women makers solving problems in the health and beauty industry. Afterward, the learners will have an opportunity to work in teams to prototype a product or service that addresses a problem uniquely affecting African-American women. To close the day, participants will hear from an African-American female author on fashion. 

The morning session was open to the public, and the participants heard from three panels featuring local women entrepreneurs embracing the Maker Movement to rethink beauty, health, hair, and fashion. Next, author, educator and fashion designer Lesley Ware to deliver the keynote speaker. She shared a TED-style talk about her journey as a maker, author, and educator.’ Lesley is the author of several fashion books, Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for young Fashionistas and How to be a Fashion Designer. She also sat down for an interview to talk about her journey which aired on an episode of iQSmartparent, watch the interview here.

In the afternoon a select group participated in a maker challenge with an opportunity to work in teams to prototype a product or service that addresses a problem uniquely affecting girls and women. The teams will have an opportunity to present their proposed solution and receive a constructive reflection from their peers. All participants will receive a kit for their participation.


iQ Smartparent 604: Bridging the Digital Divide
In 2018, Williams transitioned into a position in the Education Department at WQED in Pittsburgh, PA. When Remake Learning announced the Great Remake grant opportunity WQED supported Shimra's submission for the "Slaying the Future", a one day maker event for African-American girls held at our local library. The morning was open to the public and included three panels of local African-American women trailblazing the Maker Movement, with a keynote address by author Lesley Ware.  Williams invited the author, educator and fashion designer Lesley Ware as the keynote because she had used her book "Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas" a framework for The Beauty of S.T.E.M. Ware has also penned two additional books on fashion design for young girls and works in libraries, museums and at the university level educating people about fashion design. We ask her to lead a maker challenge held for a select group of girls. WQED did an interview with Lesley Ware for their iQSmartparent series, watch the interview here.
Bring Making to Students through Fashion Design - Maker Promise
"Fashion design also creates opportunities for students to be creative with what they’re learning in STEM courses — for example, can we design a piece of clothing to monitor a person’s heart rate as they work out? Read our feature on Maker Champion Shimira Williams, founder of Beauty of S.T.E.M, for more inspiration around working with youth to integrate making, fashion, and technology." - By Maker PromiseClick here to read the full article "Bring Making to Students through Fashion Design."  

Implementation steps

Save the Date

The lead teaching artist will compile the following document to prepare for the one day conference. 

  1. Develop a budget that includes the cost to rent the venue, equipment, and materials for the maker challenge, honorarium for panelist, lunch, a snack and a stipend for the teaching artist. 
  2. Scout potential venues for the event. Make sure there is adequate space to host the panel discussions and to prototype for the maker challenge.    
  3. Create a list of the potential panelist for the morning discussion. 
  4. Create a list of potential mentors to work with the youth teams during the maker challenge.  
Reach out to people

The lead teaching artist will invite local entrepreneurs trailblazing in the Maker Movement. Those available will receive an email to confirm their participation. As well as secure a venue for the event. 

Let the people know!
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One-Day Conference

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