DYLAN SKINNER 

PORTRAITS BY CHUN-LI 'KEN' HUANG

 
 
Dylan Skinner by Chun-Li Ken Huang.jpg
 

In a matter of three days, Dylan Skinner had raced across town to the fabric store, sewed a dress the next day, and completed the fitting just in time for her client’s graduation ceremony. With sheer will and determination to see the finished product, she recounted the experience as being one of the most rewarding in her young career.

For Dylan, a sophomore transfer student at Marist, clothing shows more than personal style—illustrating the love you have for your body and yourself. With her creative skills and her determination in hand, Dylan uses fashion to promote her philanthropic goals on body positivity. “My mission statement is that I want to make everyone feel beautiful.”

At age 16, Dylan battled an eating disorder, eventually finding comfort in others who shared her struggle. With the continued help of her family and close friends, she learned to love her body and live healthily. “There’s always the insecurity in the back of your mind—but I’ve learned to surround myself with the right people. They help me move towards my goals and what’s important to me,” she said.

IMG_5160.JPG

Dylan Skinner's Childhood Image

“My mission statement is that I want to make everyone feel beautiful.”- Dylan Skinner

‘TAUGHT HERSELF TO SEW’—Dylan taught herself how to sew at the age of ten and continued her education at Parsons Pre-College Academy for Art and Design in NYC. She went on to work with in Atlanta with designer, Abbey Glass and in New York City with ZAC by Zac Posen. After her internships, Dylan understood how the fashion industry often relies on insecurity to sell products. To counteract that, she tailors her creative design towards the individual and not a set standard. “There isn’t just one image of beautiful,” she said.

She spent this past summer interning at PVH Corp.—specifically for Van Heusen menswear, while collaborating on projects with Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. “When I graduated from the Parsons program after four years, I knew I needed to do something to keep my creative juices flowing,” she said. “So, for me, it was natural to start my own little business. Before I knew it, I was making prom and graduation gowns for girls in my town.”

In her hometown of Ridgewood, New Jersey and later in her freshman year at Fordham, Dylan began designing gowns for prom and her school’s fashion show. After intensive months of hard work, Dylan was able to create dozens of dresses, tailored to each girl’s body types and specifications. Whenever she completes a fitting, Dylan makes sure each girl is happy. “I know that everyone has their insecurities, so a main priority of mine is to make everyone feel comfortable,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
IMG_6988.jpg
 

Dylan Skinner is an upcoming fashion designer, running her own online business, Dylan Skinner Designs. Her line and mission are created around concepts of philanthropy and body positivity. She began her career designing dresses for her local town’s fashion show and recently interned at ZAC by Zac Posen. She spent this past summer interning at PVH Corp.—specifically for Van Heusen menswear, while collaborating on projects with Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. She continues her work in her own designs—with her ultimate goal of helping women to feel beautiful in all aspects, as their natural selves.

With her Fashion Merchandising major, Dylan balances her time flexing her creative muscles while crunching the numbers, working towards her goal of becoming a buyer. She began her own online business called Dylan Skinner Designs, where she sells graphic tees and jackets under the name, Sticks and Stones. She is currently creating two new lines of evening wear and ready-to-wear. Her upcoming collections will give 50 percent of profits to the National Eating Disorders Association. “I truly believe this is a worthy cause of all of my effort,” she said. Both give her creative license as well as promote her social and philanthropic messages of body positivity and self-love. Her good friend, Tatum Flood described Dylan’s personal growth and success. “She did face hardships throughout her years, however this is when she learned from them and discovered how much potential she really has.”

WITH GREAT SUPPORT—With the help of her supportive parents and close friends, Dylan is spreading her message throughout her life. She emphasizes that people who struggle with body image are not alone. She urges them to, “seek out someone who’s gone through it.” She continued, “Being able to say ‘I’m feeling this way’ and other people wholeheartedly understanding you is unparalleled.” “Having that support system helps me realize that I shouldn’t be thinking of negative things when I can be pursuing my passion,” said Dylan.

“What I hope is that through my tireless efforts for all of my years to come, that I can turn someone’s mindset around just as mine was. Because if we cannot see the beauty in our own lives, something must be done to help change that.”

 

Reader Center: Have a question for our writers or team? Ask it here »