Attire Design senior Kaleb Duncan is understood through Kei Ai within the style group. His alias, which comes from the phonetic spelling of his first and center initials, “serves as a fragmentation” of himself as a fashion designer.
LSU scholars might know him because the cheerful and joking cashier within the On-The Geaux retailer within the Scholar Union, the place he works complete time.
Duncan took a ruin from college to concentrate on his craft, and makes use of his process on the Scholar Union to enhance his style endeavors. He plans to return to college within the Fall of 2023.
“I had so much happening and I sought after to concentrate on me being a fashion designer, so I pulled again from LSU to recenter myself,” Duncan stated.
Duncan’s pastime in style began in 2016, all through his junior 12 months of highschool. Whilst in a complicated IB artwork magnificence, he began experimenting with clothes and discovered tips on how to paintings a stitching system. He endured to self-teach himself via trial and mistake.
“When I selected [fashion design] there was once no turning again … It’s a medium I will be able to use to specific myself, emotions, tales,” Duncan stated. “Style is a language, and garments are the best way you keep up a correspondence.”
When he first got here to LSU, Duncan deliberate to check electric engineering. He switched to style as a result of he felt extra pleased with it, and noticed sides of engineering in style design.
“Style is solely engineering with material. [Designer Issey Miyake] went to college for structure, and he makes use of his structure and displays it in his paintings, and I believe that we’re identical in that facet,” Duncan stated. “It’s mixing two supposedly reverse fields into one stunning product.”
Duncan now designs the whole thing from womenswear to menswear, and is lately running on outfits for an upcoming marriage ceremony. He desires to begin advertising and marketing his clothes towards college-age people who find themselves finding themselves.
Duncan’s emblem, Dragonflies Red, or DFP, is a mirrored image of his objectives in lifestyles.
“My favourite insect is a dragonfly as a result of its symbolism – they constitute going via lifestyles as soon as and and not using a regrets. They’re additionally an animal of hope, perseverance and good fortune. And the colour crimson represents mystique, so all in combination it represents the royal thriller of finding your self and having the ability to adapt to any state of affairs you undergo,” Duncan stated.
In 2019, Duncan started doing style displays round Louisiana, with appearances in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport. His first out-of-state display was once in September 2021, the place he was once featured in an indie style week in New York Town.
“[The New York show] in reality modified my complete point of view at the course I used to be heading in opposition to,” Duncan stated.
The theme for Duncan’s New York assortment was once “When Cultures Collide,” the place he merged sides of Asian tradition with sides of Black tradition. Whilst his outfits have been on show, anime intro tune performed, intermixed with Black animation intro tune.
“Probably the most greatest influences in my lifestyles is tradition … I’ve more than one resources [of inspiration] I draw from, whether or not it’s tune, anime, folks I communicate to, studies or my interpretation of one thing,” Duncan stated.
Being a pupil at LSU has in reality helped him within the style trade, Duncan says, noting that the one who presented him to style displays was once a fellow LSU pupil.
“If I didn’t cross to LSU, I wouldn’t have met a host of people who presented me to style,” Duncan stated.
Duncan has large plans for the longer term, with more than one upcoming tasks covered up for the next months.
“My function for the longer term is to make a emblem that resonates with a host of folks, and so to specific myself via style thought movies, and so to carry forth one thing everyone can perceive … I additionally need to grow to be a fashion designer identified for his or her technical talent,” Duncan stated.
Duncan may be making ready for a suit video shoot in August, placing in combination a web site and on-line retailer to release in September, and has long term plans for an anime lady cosplay shoot and a menswear shoot.
Style has taught Duncan courses on perseverance and believing in himself.
“Some essential issues I’ve discovered within the trade [is] being tenacious and no longer being too arduous on your self, as a result of I’ve noticed each time I went to a way display, I used to be all the time the youngest there, and it’s in reality intimidating … You’re identical to the brand new child at the block, you’re simply rising, you don’t in reality understand how others will see your assortment,” Duncan stated.
Duncan has confronted hardships and fiscal limitations within the style trade, however he encourages different designers not to surrender on their desires and proceed running to recuperate.
“I be expecting higher for myself each time. I simply checked out my New York [collection], and everybody liked it, however I do know I will be able to do higher. Each time I make one thing I attempt to outdo myself, bit by bit,” Duncan stated. “Even supposing it’s no longer your perfect, you’ll have the ability to do higher subsequent time … You’re a lot higher than you give your self credit score for.”
Duncan can also be discovered at @dragonfliespurple on Instagram.