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designer LYNN HLAING with Nikita Shah

Lynn Hlaing is a sophomore originally from New York studying computer science and economics. I had the chance to speak with him briefly in the days leading up to the fashion show, in between his busy schedule of work, design team meetings, and fittings. Lynn isn’t just a first-time designer for the show, he’s the head of the design team for Fashion@Brown’s 2019 fashion show. A couple minutes into the interview, it was apparent that beneath his self-deprecating, dry, laughs was a frank but knowledgeable fashion enthusiast. “I think I started to get interested in fashion back in high school...I used to wear a lot of hoodies, but then one day I was like maybe I should mix things up,” he replied when asked if he remembered a time he started to get interested in fashion. He also cited Belgian designer Dries Van Noten as one of his biggest influences.

When I asked what inspired these particular designs, Lynn gave an equally concise answer. “Three ideas, asymmetry, the use of multiple fabrics, and contrasting silhouettes. I guess it came down to the concept of imbalance. I browsed the internet for ideas for a while, and I think I started with americana workwear-inspired styles and it really took off from there.” At the end, I asked if he had any advice for aspiring designers, particularly students. “Make mistakes early and make a lot of them because they teach you the most. It’s a lot easier than you think as long as you have the mental fortitude,” he snickered, “yeah…it’s really about having the mental fortitude to start.