Behind the scenes of the exclusive production that is New York Fashion Week lies a collection of individual stories and personal feats.  The road to becoming a successful fashion designer is undoubtedly difficult, and there is no specific formula to achieve this career path. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit New York City during this exciting event to attend a variety of up and coming designer shows. It was surreal to be in an environment filled with inspiring artists and industry professionals. Each designer I witnessed showcase their work during fashion week had their own personal style, while maintaining one common principle: an extraordinary passion for their craft.
Many people dream of becoming a fashion designer, yet the misconception that the fashion industry is impenetrable causes a great deal of discouragement among young creatives. I was lucky enough to witness many incredible designers during NYFW, yet one label stood out to me initially for its geometric designs and sleek aesthetic. The brand is called “She Does” and is built off of the principle that women can do anything and be anything, while embracing femininity and strength simultaneously. After interviewing Audrey Waldron, the founder and CEO of the “She Does” label, I was truly inspired by her personal story and the evolution of the brand.
I was initially eager to learn more about Waldron’s educational background, so I began the interview by asking her where she learned to become a designer. She proceeded to tell me how she studied political science and public relations at Southern Utah University, with the goal of earning a practical degree despite her creativity and ongoing love for fashion. Like many college students attempting to navigate their future career, Waldron was focused on getting a sound education rather than following her passion. Unfortunately, design is often considered an unrealistic career path to many students who do not exclusively study this at an elite, fashion-oriented university.
After graduating from college, Waldron proceeded to become a flight attendant. However, it wasn’t until after she was married with three children that Waldron began to develop a passion for health and fitness, which led her to become a brand ambassador for a swimwear company. While working as a paid ambassador, Waldron realized that out of the hundreds of swimwear pieces she now owned, it was rare to find the perfect combination of fabric and style in any given suit. Because of this, she had the idea to create her own line of swimwear, customized to fit the needs she found necessary after being surrounded by hundreds of different silhouettes and materials.
For Waldron, design was always a passion, yet she initially suppressed these emotions because she didn't think it would ever turn into a career for her. Curious about the evolution of the brand,  I proceeded to ask her how the brand “She Does” began. Her response encompassas the brand’s identity:
“I didn’t want it to just be swim, I wanted it to be a women’s lifestyle brand, so she does swim but she does sports, she does fitness, she does style, she does sexy, she does inspiration, she does recipes, she does nutrition, she does it all.” 
Waldron stated how as women we wear many hats, and that’s really where the premise of the brand came from. She proceeded with the question, “Why can’t women do it all? It was more or less coming up with a name that encompassed the lifestyle brand for women.” Waldron herself encompasses this “all-doing” woman, as she currently resides in Virginia with her family working a 9 to 5 job on top of her career as a designer and businesswoman. She travels to New York periodically to collaborate with her design partner Graehme Field to sustain the She Does label, as the basis of the brand is ecommerce. 
This past fall, She Does officially launched their website, Waldron was shortly approached by hiTechModa, a fashion show production company that combines traditional fashion shows with cutting edge technology and ideals in the industry, to be featured in their NYFW runway show early February. Waldron, alongside her design partner Graehme, worked collaboratively to put on a flawless show featuring a variety of designs inspired by a very modern, sexy, 50s style. Initially, Waldron’s Instagram page was the source of inspiration to create a sexy swimwear line. Now, we have 12 other She Does suits to look forward to that cater to more sizes and ultimately encompass more women.
I proceeded to ask Waldron what she felt has been the biggest challenge in her career as a designer, which she responded, “I would say manufacturing for sure.” Several of Waldron’s friends in the industry suggested she go to a website called “Maker's Row” which is a useful resource for a lot of beginning designers. Waldron knew she wanted an all-encompassing manufacturer to take her from beginning to end, in order to ensure a lot of quality control. When asked if you need to know how to sew to be a designer, she responded saying it was encouraging but not crucial. She explained that although she did have the technical skill of sewing, she did not feel it was a necessity in becoming a designer. However, I was impressed to learn that the cover ups presented at the She Does runway show were sewn by hand the night of.
I concluded our conversation by asking, “What do you want people to take away from your designs?” It was clear to me from the start that the She Does label was designed with intention.
“The whole idea is I want women to feel empowered, to feel comfortable to feel confident in the suit, and the whole idea of the brand is I want women to come to this and have it be a community. I know it's particularly challenging because the world offers women a lot of opportunities to wear a lot of hats, and to do all these things, and were often dealt with a kind of ambiguity not necessarily faced by men, but I want women to have the takeaway that they can be strong, they can be fit, sexy, classy they can do all these things.”
“Women today can have it all. We can have our education, our careers, our marriage, our family, single life etc., but you know there are tradeoffs in balancing all the options which can be a challenge. In the end, most of us have to choose what works best for us, so I want women to feel confident in that. To be like, this suit isn’t really working for me but I really dig this one and feel confident in that…something for everyone.”
Written by Audrey Waldron

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