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A Fashion Scholar Takes New York

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Stephanie Michelle Hendrawan. Courtesy of Stephanie Michelle Hendrawan.

She’s the winner of a $5,000 YMA Scholarship, an Oscar de la Renta intern in New York and a B.F.A. fashion merchandising student here at Academy of Art University. Who is this inspiring individual? Her name is Stephanie Michelle Hendrawan. 

Hendrawan’s journey into her promising career took off after she received her YMA FSF scholarship. YMA is an international non-profit organization composed of influential members of the fashion industry. Scholarships are regarded as a very worthwhile investment in the future of the fashion industry. “At first, I had no idea that winning the scholarship would generate a lot of opportunities to come in the future,” Hendrawan said. “Marie Colletta from the YMA [organization], gave me a really huge opportunity that I could never even dream of getting, which was to intern for Oscar de la Renta’s production team.”

The famous designer house, Oscar de la Renta, is a dream for anyone with fashion aspirations. To learn from such a prestigious creative team can only help your talents soar. Hendrawan especially appreciated the house’s attention to its craftsmanship. “My most favorite part would be the sample fittings that occur three times a week to see if the garments sent by the manufacturer were ready to be produced,” she said. 

This type of operation can also create pressure. Hendrawan felt overwhelmed during her first week as she was just beginning to learn about daily routines. “I was not really familiar with how the team works and how the tasks are expected to be done while buyers were present during market week,” she explained. “I had to run back and forth quietly to ensure that the buyers meetings would not get disrupted to complete the task of measuring the garments on the collection.” 

As an Academy student, Hendrawan’s transition from the west to the east coast was courageous, notable and inspiring. “I have to say that the city does have its own charms unlike others,” she said. 

Hendrawan is currently in her last semester and has allowed herself to explore her true aspirations as it pertains to the fashion industry. She credits this school for opening doors of opportunity that benefited her future. One particular person that she mentioned is faculty member Keanan Duffty. “Keanan has definitely helped me to realize that it is not enough for a student to just achieve good grades,” Hendrawan said. “A student should also take into action the opportunity of networking and making the best out of the situation that they are in. I used to think that achieving A’s is what matters most. However, I have come to realize now that straight A’s will not really benefit you as a person unless you can show that you also have the ambition, drive and personality to make the first impression.” 

Academy of Art University is proud to house such amazing talent, drive and passion. Upon graduation in December, Hendrawan plans to work in San Francisco or New York in fashion PR. In the long run, she would like to start her own agency in Singapore or Jakarta to expose the designers who show high potential in the market. 

“To me, fashion is a form of self expression that a person possesses regardless [of] whether they think they care about how they dress or not.” Hendrawan said. “Subconsciously, as a person, you dress on how you want other people to view you, and it is very interesting to see how the ever-changing trends reflect how a certain time period influences how people dress themselves.”