On Tuesday, October 3, Mariah Does Hooke, Fashion Design BFA ’23, arrived on the fourth floor of Macy’s Herald Square to celebrate the launch of her winning dress design, which is now on sale at select Macy’s locations as part of the retailer’s private brand, Bar III.
A year ago, Does Hooke was completing her senior thesis course, and decided to enter the Macy’s Capsule Collection challenge. The contest, open to seniors in the Fashion Design BFA program, offered the opportunity to design a look that would be sold in stores. Does Hooke was one of 15 finalists selected to move forward with creating her design. Macy’s provided the fabric, and each finalist was paired with a Macy’s mentor to critique their work and offer advice on designing for the Macy’s customer.
Does Hooke decided on a sleeveless knitwear dress that could be easily integrated into any wardrobe, but was more stylish than a classic sheath. When asked about her inspiration for the design, she said, “I wanted to do something simple that everyone could wear. I was also thinking about production.”
The criteria for the designs submission was to create a high-quality look with commercial appeal and originality. Does Hooke, who considers her personal design aesthetic to be avant garde and whimsical, said this challenge let her focus on technical design skills and fit. She also benefited from the mentorship of Rachel Weidner, associate designer for INC, another Macy’s private brand.
Throughout the design and production process, Weidner offered insight on the Macy’s consumer and helped Does Hooke make necessary adjustments to her dress, which paid off when Does Hooke was named the winner in April. In May she graduated from FIT and in June went to Macy’s offices to make the finishing touches on the dress before it went into production.
Today, the dress is sold in three colors and is sold at seven Macy’s stores, including the brand’s flagship Macy’s Herald Square location.
Does Hooke currently works as an accessories designer in New York City.