Aggie designers launches empire by: Raven Tyler

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Desiree Monique Hedrick, a senior fashion merchandising student at North Carolina A&T State University (N.C A&T), has a passion for fashion.

Born and raised in Greensboro, Hedrick grew up in a strong Christian family who have encouraged her to continue working towards her dreams. Initially, she thought that she would have a future career in childcare because her family owns several centers. Her aspirations changed when she began college and decided to major in fashion merchandising.

“I just realized this is not for me, this is not what I love, I have always had that passion for fashion. I have this love for designing for people and sketching clothing, I would do this for the rest of my life, even if I never get paid for it,” said Hedrick, who is the owner of Desiree Monique Custom Designs.

Hedrick began her business of custom designs in Oct. 2016. The designs are made upon the customer’s request and include formal outfits for events such as proms and graduations. Hedrick is also working on designing her own fabric but does not plan on beginning her personal fashion line until she graduates next May.

“I was in three different designer’s clothing and hers [Hendrick’s] was my favorite, hands down. It was cute, fit well, and definitely something I would wear on the regular,” said Essence Corley, a senior psychology student.

Hedrick’s first time displaying her designs was during The Earth Day Fashion Show in 2014 at N.C. A&T. She didn’t win any prizes that year, but used that experience to strengthen her brand. She has displayed her custom designs each year since and has won prizes for them.

Hedrick likes to recruit A&T students who are interested in modeling in her designs. She mandates that these students have a 3.0 GPA or higher to walk. She focuses on but does not limit these positions to fashion merchandising students.

“Desiree’s pieces are constructive and fun. They cater to the client’s specific taste, but it has her signature flair to it,” says Karima Dorsey, a senior fashion merchandising student and one of Hedrick’s former models.

Hedrick describes her designs as “colorful with lots of prints.” She enjoys designing cultural, African print fashions for women.

“Yeah, I love prints, I love colors; when I design, I design to make women feel empowered, beautiful, and special. I just try to invoke God’s love. Everything is a bold statement to just try to accentuate a woman’s body without her being exposed,” Hedrick said.

This past summer, Hedrick interned in New York City with French designer Maison DePapillon. Her tasks included hand sewing and fixing any defects in garments, as well as completing VIP orders and assisting at photo shoots. This was a dream come true for Hedrick considering that she had the chance to send merchandise to one of her inspirations, Gabrielle Union.

Hedrick has been accepted into the “Inspiring Beauty Ebony Fashion Fair 50 Year Celebration” for Ebony magazine’s fashion show next month. She is also participating in the “Goodwill Rock the Runway Fashion Show” next March.

Hedrick’s ultimate goal is to become a fashion designer with her own line and live in a metropolitan area. One day she hopes to design clothes for former first lady, Michelle Obama.

For more information on Hendricks, visit www.designedbydesireemonique.com and follow her Instagram at @desireemonique_customdesigns.

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