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Fashion Dreams in the Big City

This past January, Busara Boussard was one of the lucky Academy of Art University students that were awarded a $5,000 YMA FSF scholarship along with an opportunity to select an internship in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City or Greensboro.

At first, Boussard could not believe that she had actually won the scholarship. “I didn’t know I was going to win. I was crying, it was so exciting ... and winning the scholarship felt like a big wake up call,” she said during a recent phone interview.

Attracted to the city life, Boussard selected a design internship at Ralph Lauren in New York City. These past few months, she has been learning the ins and outs of how a multi-million dollar company runs. “My biggest surprise of all has been seeing how each department relies on one another to function properly,” said Boussard. “It felt great to know that they also relied on me even though I was just the intern.”

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Busara Boussard. Courtesy of Busara Boussard.

Although Boussard was given a choice of where to intern, she was not entirely sure what her internship would entail. To her surprise, she was placed on the kidswear design team. “It hasn’t been easy to work on something I had no prior experience [in], but I am so proud of myself for giving it a chance and thankful that I learned so much from it,” she said. “I feel like this experience has made me want to step out of my comfort zone more.”

During her studies at the Academy, Boussard has focused on designing women’s activewear. One of the biggest challenges Boussard has faced is finding a balance between originality and relevance, but she always seems to find inspiration within the hip-hop culture. “Ever since I was a young girl, I enjoyed hip-hop music and culture, it’s definitely something that has influenced my designs that are sporty and chic. I dream of designing clothes for celebrities like Shay Mitchell or CL from 2NE1,” she said.

Boussard’s time at the Academy has been full of sleepless nights, accepting critiques, creating pieces for school assignments, receiving advice from her instructors, forming lifetime friendships and preparing for the real world.

“My best experience at the Academy has been receiving support from all my instructors, which I don’t think is something many students at other schools can say about their instructors, which is just another reason why I am glad I chose to study fashion instead of architecture like my mother had hoped I would,” Boussard said. “There is no point in going after other people’s dreams if they aren’t yours. I hope my story will inspire others to follow their dreams and work as hard as they possibly can.”

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An illustrated lineup designed by Busara Boussard. Courtesy of Busara Boussard.

Boussard is set to graduate in Spring 2016, and although she is somewhat nervous to enter the working world, she is confident that her education at the Academy and her internship at Ralph Lauren have prepared her for a successful future. She is amazed at how much she has learned and progressed in just a few years and is excited to see where she ends up after graduating.

We wish you luck Busara!