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Couture for a Cause: The student behind the gown, Koa Johnson

10179023155_3a3292aee1_bKoa Johnson poses with his look from Fantasia Ball 2013

 1.       What sparked your passion for fashion?

I was always interested in art and being creative. Around the age of 12, I took a home economics class, where we were required to sew one of the projects. After that experience, I was fascinated with the thought of creating and designing things that were wearable and also artistic.

 2.       Is this your first year showing at Fantasia Ball? What do you look forward to?

This would be my 3rd year at the Fantasia Ball and I always look forward to the prepping and designing work prior to the event. It is always a joy to see the guests and attendees at the fantasia ball appreciate many of my month’s worth of effort to designing and sewing my look.

3.       Why do you think it’s important to support our keiki?

I believe it’s important to support our keiki because they play a huge role in the outcome of our future.

4.       Can you relate to not picking up on something as quickly as your peers? Can you explain?

Before I had the opportunity to become a teacher in the Fashion Technology program at the University of Hawaii Maui College, I was a very inexperienced student when I entered the program back in 2008. I struggled with a lot of the sewing techniques and concepts but I never gave up because I was so desperately wanting to learn. I slowly progressed into becoming a student assistant in the fashion program and eventually graduated in 2011 with my associate’s degree in fashion and received the Outstanding Student Award.

5.       Can you describe your design aesthetic?

I would define my design aesthetic as over-the-top avant garde.

6.       3 wardrobe tips for our guests getting ready for Fantasia Ball 2014?

Don’t wear aloha print unless it’s a very graphic design. Ladies should feel sexy and not look vulgar. When in doubt, wear red!

7.       How many hours have you spent working on this look?

I have spent COUNTLESS hours on my gown for Fantasia Ball. A lot of detail and tedious work.

8.       When you graduate where do you see yourself?

Since I’ve already graduated, I plan to get my BA in fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

9.       How can fashion make a difference in today’s world?

Fashion is always changing and I think that’s how the world needs to be. I have always said that fashion is one of the 3 basic necessities in life along with food and shelter.