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Announcing the Local Designer Initiative
July 15, 2017

After many years of support from local Pittsburgh residents and artists, Lunar Gala is excited to give back to the Pittsburgh fashion community with this year’s local designer initiative. Our goal is to promote local designers by featuring them in the 2018 Lunar Gala show.


LG: Sonder presents Cheeks, 2017 Show

To be featured in the show, designers will need to submit an application similar to that required of Lunar Gala’s student designers. More information on the application will be provided in weeks to come. The board’s PR team will be in contact with local press to connect with prospective designers.

Chosen designers will have their lines featured in the show and the show’s printed program – our aim is that their participation in Lunar Gala will proliferate their brand’s image and awareness.


LG: Hypnose presents JCrew, 2014 Show

This initiative is not the first time Lunar Gala has included external lines in the show. Last year, there were two external lines: Ronin Division, a New York based streetwear designer, and Cheeks, a local boutique. If you attended the show last year, you’ll know that they were both big highlights! We are hoping that this year’s external lines will be an even greater success by providing a larger communal impact that focuses our efforts on designers from Pittsburgh.

Hopefully this year’s initiative will be the foundation of a longstanding and rewarding partnership with the Pittsburgh fashion community. We have high hopes for what this initiative will bring for the future of both LG and Pittsburgh fashion. As producer Grace Kao says, “we envision a future where people from across the country will have heard of the Pittsburgh fashion scene and be drawn to come see it for themselves.” So get excited to see some of Pittsburgh’s most promising up-and-coming designers in the show this year!

Introducing the 2018 Board: Faith Kaufman and Jumana Akoad
July 1, 2017

Happy July!  We’re about halfway through summer and it’s time to introduce two members of the 2018 Lunar Gala board.  

Faith Kaufman is a senior Communication Design and HCI double-major with a media design concentration and an art minor.  Until this summer she had only lived in Cincinnati, her hometown, and Pittsburgh, but she is currently enjoying life in the Bay Area and is feeling “pretty sold” on Northern California life.  Faith is working at Linkedin as a User Experience Designer and is part of the International Team creating region-specific products for users in Germany.

Attending Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design was a dream of Faith’s throughout high school, and she is still “blown away” that she is living that dream.  She feels lucky to be at Carnegie Mellon and uses that as her motivation to make the most of the many opportunities around her. Faith’s end goal is to become a professor of design and design practitioner.  When time permits, she enjoys attending yoga classes, as well as reading science fiction and redesigning book covers.  


Faith joined LG in 2016 because she was impressed by the event, its branding, and legacy. This year, she will be leading the creative team as Creative Director and is excited to have the opportunity to build this year’s brand with what she calls, “an incredible team of inspiring designers and friends”.  

As for her personal style, Faith tries to avoid the all-black wardrobe that is stereotypical of design students.  Instead, colors and patterns are staples in her closet.  She calls Anqi Wan, LG’s Branding Coordinator, who is also her friend and fellow Carnegie Mellon design student, her “fashion muse”, and also draws inspiration from American graphic designer and art designer, Jessica Walsh.  


Sophomore Jumana Akoad is from historical Lexington, Massachusetts.  Her family loves to travel and is constantly exploring new places. So far, her favorite places include Istanbul, Barcelona, and London.  This summer she is working in a neurology lab in Boston and will be visiting family in North Africa.

As a Neuroscience major with medical school aspirations, Jumana decided to join LG this year because she is uncertain when she will have another opportunity to be part of something fashion related.  Fashion and the fashion industry have always interested her, and she knows that being part of Lunar Gala will be something she will cherish in the future.  She joins LG’s PR team as the Sponsor Liaison.  


Jumana draws fashion inspiration from Alexa Chung, as well as a fashion blogger named Jess (@sunbeamsjess on Instagram).  She has a total of eight piercings and says it feels “weird” if she doesn’t have earrings in them at all times – the same way she feels when she doesn’t have her usual two to three rings on each hand.  Picking out her outfit of the day is a daily ritual she enjoys and is something that helps her get up in the morning.

In her spare time, Jumana enjoys playing tennis and has recently gotten into watching classic films.  She also loves memorizing fun facts, so you wouldn’t want to challenge her in trivia!  Something that most people don’t know about her is that she is fluent in Arabic.  

Faith and Jumana are two great representations of the rest of the 2018 board. Made up of both new and returning members led by producers Grace Kao, Jarret Lin, and Gilly Johnson, the board is particularly excited about Lunar Gala’s Pittsburgh fashion initiative (more details to come).  Stay tuned for more exciting updates!   

Post-Show Reflection: Sonder
February 27, 2017

It’s hard to believe that it has only been a week since the show! Thank you to the producers, the board, dancers, models and designers. The show would not have happened without our members working together and pushing through until the last minutes before the show. “It went by so quickly but I’m proud of the outcome and excited to see next years show already.” says Producer Lynzky Deleon. We sold out the show two days in advance! We could not be more thrilled and we hope everyone enjoyed the show and can’t wait for Lunar Gala 2018!

Photo credits to our photographers this year: Jason Chen, Andrew Lee and Brendan Lee. Their work this year has been creative and incredible. Thank you so much for all you do!

“I heard from current students, as well as alumni, that this was the best show in many years so it was really exciting to hear that,” explains Producer Michelle Cho. “It was very chaotic beforehand but it was all worth it to see everything come together.” Last week, the producers reflected and recapped some of the initiatives and accomplishments associated with this year’s production. As a past Entertainment Director and dancer, Michelle hoped to improve the quality of the theme and its correlation with the dances. “The quality of the dance performances often affect the audience’s experience so it seems that the better and more creative the dances are, the more exciting the show could become.” This idea of experience was presented through the theme and its definition. Sonder illustrates the parallelism between our lives and that of a peer and even a complete stranger. It brings light to the similarities and intersection of diverse people and experiences, much like the makeup of Lunar Gala itself.


“Lunar Gala 2017 was a special experience,” expresses Lexi DeLaRosa. As Co-Entertainment Coordinator, dance held a special place in her heart. “The costumes were beautiful, energy was contagious and I think this year’s theme gave choreographers greater leverage to tell a story. In the future I think the entertainment division within Lunar Gala will continue to grow even more, through dance and maybe in new and innovative ways.” One of Lexi’s favorite parts of this year was working with her co-coordinator, Gilly Johnson. Gilly is “incredibly proud of all the dancers and choreographers who participated in LG this year. It’s really wonderful to see their ideas and movements manifest on the runway, as it’s an unexpected and interesting environment to perform in. I hope that the caliber of dance and choreography will stay constant in the upcoming years, as we are always gaining new talent and vision from the dancers involved in the CMU community.”


“Now that LG is over, I don’t know what to do with my free time. I actually was haunted by dreams about LG everyday for the past week but I’m starting to get back into my daily life,” jokes Michelle. “There are some loose ends to take care of, but for the most part, the other producers and I are just preparing for next year’s board and how to further the alumni association.” A lot of LG this year has been talking about pushing the boundaries of the organization. One of the biggest and most exhilarating things for Lunar Gala is our Alumni Line. The legacies of alumni offer strong motivation and inspiration for everyone involved in the organization so we were excited and grateful to have them back, especially during the stressful moments leading up to the show. “I am looking forward to coming back to see what new things they think of next year and how much more LG can push boundaries and branch out. Only a few years ago, the lines consisted of mostly ready-to-wear clothing but the designs have become more advanced and able to include more abnormal materials which makes the show so unique and the organization so diverse.”


“I think LG steps it up every year, which is awesome. I’m proud of us for incorporating an alumni line and really taking our alumni board a step farther,” Model Coordinator, Sabrina Chang exclaims. As part of the board and the modeling team, Sabrina was able to see how the show functions from all sides. “I’m so proud of the models for coming together on show day. Tech week was exhausting and taxing but the models really pulled through on Saturday. The best part of the show day was talking to the new models after they walk for the first time. I was with Junwoo right before and right after his first line and it was adorable. He was so nervous before and afterward but so pumped for his next line.” Whenever she talks about LG, Sabrina expresses how she happy is for everyone involved in the show. Even though she has not designed before, she loves “seeing the designers’ visions and hard work come together into real life. “It’s a beautiful thing and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.” For another one of our Model Coordinators, Myles Blodnick, LG has been an amazing experience. “Although the practices were long, it was great to build friendships and gain more knowledge of the fashion world. I can’t wait to see how Lunar Gala transforms and builds in the upcoming years.”


“I’m especially grateful to everyone involved and there’s a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that all the hours we put into the backend of the show — from working on the creative assets, the website and motion videos, creating a story arch in the show order, to designing the viewer experiences along with tech and spending time at model and designer practices — these were ultimately worth it,” describes Catherine Zheng. “I keep thinking back about what we could have improved, but it’s a learning process. It is simply knowledge to be passed on to future producers. There were definitely bumps in the road, especially the day of the show, but when looking at the bigger picture, everything came together as we hoped. It was a seamless show and well paced experience with a unified theme and connecting story. I think we pushed LG in many ways this year, creating the Alumni Line and Alumni Association, taking a chance with different tech and theme branding, changing how we organized practices, selling external merchandise, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing how the following years will continue to push the boundaries of what LG is and what it can be.”

A Reflection from the Producers
February 17, 2017

We can’t believe that the show is this weekend! The show has officially SOLD OUT! The producers could not be more ecstatic about this. Additionally, they are pumped for the afterparty in Bakery Square at Social. It will be 11PM to 2AM after the show. Each ticket offers free admission! After months of hard work and preparation, we are ready to put on an incredible show. Reminder: show starts at 8pm, doors open for VIP/Preferred at 7pm and 7:15pm for General Admission.

Photo credits to our LG photographers.

As we count down the last days before the show, we wanted to reflect a little bit over the past year. For 2017, our producers have been working hard to bring innovative elements to the organization and improve it as much as they can.

This year, producers Catherine, Michelle and Lynzky have implemented its first official Alumni Association, improved efficiency with practices, and worked towards a more comprehensive and relatable theme. These changes brought some challenges and countless late nights for our producers. To manage everything to complete and prepare for the show, the producers divided up the work so they each had a focus. Lynzky handled modeling, Cat oversaw  creative and design  and Michelle has taken care of the budget, entertainment and PR/Strategy (commonly referred to as the “mom” of the organization.)


For Catherine, the Alumni Association has been very exciting. She has been able to reconnect with her sorority big and past producer, CeeCee Chang. LG holds a special place in Catherine’s heart because she was able to “become friends with people I never would have gotten close to otherwise. Designing a line last year and producing this year really connected me to those people. I was also able to reconnect with CeeCee, last year’s producers and a number of other alumni.” CeeCee is one of the co-presidents of the association, alongside Terry Boyd.

This is the beginning of the Alumni Association and the beginning of a new era for LG. Hopefully, it will connect more alumnae to past, current, and future members of the organization. “I think LG could evolve to be more academic and professional. There’s a lot that goes into the show that needs professional expertise at times – our financials, organizational structure, strategy, creative branding, etc. I hope to see that designers, creatives, and everyone involved can get recognition about for the work goes into the event, especially in terms of it going beyond a ‘fashion show.'”

To recap, Catherine joined LG as a sophomore on the board after being nominated for a position. Then, she designed a line (with two team members), served on the board last year and now, she is a producer. Her role now is geared towards the creative and design teams. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to seeing everything come together, from the designers and the creatives. The creative team has been working separately from the designers and models, and the rest of the board, so I’d definitely be excited to see that be showcased, along with the final products of all the designers.”


Lynzky has been modeling “for 5ever” and oversees the models as producer and HBIC. “The first practice I went during my freshman year was absolutely intimidating and I was memorized by the confidence of all the models. You just see the strength of their auras through their walks.” Lynzky got involved because it seemed like something fun and it peaked her interest. She was trying out a variety of new things as a freshman and this one really stuck. As for producing, she feels that her team of three worked out well. “We never have issues with each other. We always fill in each other’s gaps of knowledge especially while planning.”

While this year brought about a lot of change, Lynzky has “no regrets.” It may have been exhausting but it was definitely rewarding. “We tried a lot of different new things this year. We decided to sell swag externally, we helped start up the Alumni association, we worked to make practices shorter and more efficient. This year was really a year of trying a heck of a lot of new things.” She is looking forward to it all coming together is “ready to get drunk” afterwards and celebrate in the glory of this year’s show.


With Michelle’s past experience in the show, her vision was concentrated on the theme of Lunar Gala. In the past, it has seemed disconnected from the audience so she wanted to push the effort towards helping people understand what was happening. Her involvement this year ended up being the decision-making. “I feel like I end up making the tougher, meaner decisions. Just because I’m a very ‘get things done now’ type of person.”

She has “always been part of entertainment and really enjoyed my first year (sophomore year) since it was its inaugural year. Choreographing for LG is intense. It’s a bigger crowd, higher expectations, and a smaller stage. But you can tell story and work with people who are just as passionate about LG. I really liked the costumes (and although the zig zag stage was a bitch), it made for a really cool video and photos.”

Looking back, Michelle recalls some of her goals for this year: “I wanted the theme to be more relatable and comprehensible than in the past. This year, we have an experience coordinator who helped bridge the gap (hopefully) a bit better. In general, I wish we made the board more collaborative. We broke creative into mini teams hoping it would be more efficient but it caused them not to meet as a whole as creative as much. In the future, I would like more collaboration between teams. But, we’ve more collaborative with tech this year! Plus, entertainment is becoming more and more essential to the show each year. And, I think the photos were bomb this year too. I wanted the photographers not to feel restricted and take photos when and where they wanted to expand their portfolios as well as diversify the types of photos that we put on the blog.”

One thing that she felt we achieved was trying to have more (internal) events. We brought back the Halloween Event and planned an internal social, which was last week. It was meant for people to celebrate what we have accomplished and get to hang out outside of practice. “For the Afterparty, “’m happy that we’re changing locations and general aura of it. It’s not somewhere super far and not something for just underclassmen. It’s going to higher quality and better experience overall for all ages. We’re having special discounted red bull cocktail list!”


The challenge for this year was taking on so many new things. It all came down to the time management and the organizational structure that the producers helped to set up. “It challenged us to manage the people and teams who all work to bring this show to production in different ways. We understand the others involved have their respective lives outside LG as well. The balance to keep this organization and experience serious, yet fun and worthwhile was definitely one of the more difficult parts.” But the work has definitely paid off.

“Lunar Gala is a special place, organization, and event for a lot of people. Whether they are involved or not. It’s a space where people from various disciplines can come together to explore interests that they may not otherwise have the chance to do. We have designers studying tech, who bring their expertise into creative expression. We have models and dancers who get another platform to perform on and show who they are. We have board members who are able to use their lighting and sound production, business, and design skills in a real world application. I think LG allows for people to bond over hard work, laughter, and creativity, making a place full of challenges and accomplishments, and memories.”

External Line Spotlight: Rōnin Division
February 13, 2017

Today marks six days until the Lunar Gala 2017: Sonder! We could not be more ecstatic! This week, we will be rehearsing and running through the show. Last week, we began ticketing and SOLD OUT of our VIP tickets. We will continue selling tickets in the CUC Commons this week from Monday, February 13th to Friday, February 17th. Sales will be from 1-6PM. Credit card and cash are both accepted.

Available tickets:

General Admision $20
General Public
Free admission to after party

Preferred Seating $30
General Public – Seating in rows 2-4 & Early Entrance
Free admission to after party


As a part of past shows, Lunar Gala has featured niche brands within the fashion industry. This year, we are fortunate enough to partner with Rōnin Division, a NYC-based streetwear brand. They have been featured on HYPEBEAST and other streetwear websites. Rōnin Division is run by a single person, who chooses to remain anonymous. The brand is “looking to define the culture and experiences of the ruthless vagabond.” It incorporates personality and unique touch into everything they make. The brand’s hope is to share their own experiences and stories through the clothing. Rōnin Division is fueled by one purpose: to create a continuously growing family.


Rōnin Division defines its brand by the word it is derived. “A ronin, in short, is a samurai without a master. Ronins are tended to be looked down upon as they’re considered rebels and going against the grain of traditional norms. The definition itself is the epitome and integrity of the brand.” The founder jokes that Rōnin Division was never meant to be a “full-out brand.” It was actually a project created during his time in college. The founder was unable to afford the clothes of then big streetwear brands and in response, he decided to make the clothes themselves. With the help and support of his friends, family and fans, the brand was able to grow and become what it is today.

The brand is excited to be partnering with LG for this year’s show. “It’s exciting. I never thought I would be showcasing some of my work in a runway, so it’s very interesting to be a part of this.” Rōnin Division doesn’t plan out what the brand will do past the upcoming year. As long as there are people supporting the brand, it will keep making clothes. However, the audience can look forward to collaborations and cut & sew work.


One of the reasons that Rōnin Division likes being based in New York City is the diversity. The fashion scene and streetwear style varies a lot, much like the city itself. Rōnin stands out because it was one the first few brands that incorporated anime and video game references in clothing. The founder mentions that recently, streetwear has become much more mainstream. He goes onto explain that the line between urban wear and high fashion has slowly blurred, completely opposite from a decade ago. “A lot of brands are cultivating hype and celebrity endorsements when back then, it was about the youth and rebelling against corporations,” says the brand’s founder. However, it’s important to note that Rōnin Division doesn’t completely hate where the trend is going. The founder actually points out similarities to when “rap went from heavy bars to catchy beat flow lyrics – it’s a new generation.”


Alumni Line Spotlight: Jess Shen
February 9, 2017

Quickly, we are approaching the day of the show! We are in high anticipation and we are looking forward to seeing many of the innovative looks designers have been working on for this year’s show. Lunar Gala: Sonder will be the first year to introduce the Alumni Association, the exclusive alumni gold chairs, and the Alumni Line. This line is comprised of past producers, designer and models. This week, we are spotlighting past designer, model, and producer, Jess Shen. She graduated last May (2016) from the BCSA program, a BXA interdisciplinary degree. Inn Jess’ case, she combined Design and Computer Science.

Photo credits to past photographers.

When Jess was a freshman, she became involved with Lunar Gala through cmuTV for which she helped film the show. “I remember being so amazed and really wanted to be involved with the organization. I decided to submit designs for the show my sophomore year with a couple friends, Chloe Chia and Alex Kane.” As a junior, she joined the board as part of the Creative team and became a model. Last year, she modeled for her second year and produced the show with Jibby Ani and Miriam Buchwald. “We each took more specific roles, and I was primarily focused on tech, budget, entertainment, and creative. I actually took a lot from what I learned my freshman year filming for the show, as well as every other year that led up to producing.”

Currently, Jess is living and working in New York City. “My life is LG,” Jess jokes. Her current roommate is Miriam, one of last year’s producers. Jess works at R/GA as a User Experience Designer with many past LG alumni, such as Jane Yoon, who we featured recently on the blog as well. For Jess, the biggest challenge about designing as an alumni will be “being apart from the LG and CMU communities.” She explains that “Being there gives a lot of motivation to work and create, and you’re surrounded by so many resources.” While she was at CMU, Jess loved going to practices and seeing where everyone else was in the process of making their lines. “I’m lucky to be roommates with Miriam, who is also making a piece for the Alumni line, so the environment is almost a bit like studio. I’ve missed having the different resources that CMU has, like shop and digital fabrication, or studio space. But it’s been interesting working from a tiny apartment in NYC. I’ve gotten a bit more imaginative with how I make things.”


When she was attending CMU, one of the reasons why Jess applied to design for LG was to learn a variety of ways of making clothing. When she watched the show, she noticed how experimental it was and she wanted the opportunity to try out something different. Jess has always been interested in digital fabrication and trying unconventional materials. She had experimented with methods of dying, cutting and fusing fabrics, and playing with vacuum forming and laser cuttings. Her vision for her first line stemmed from nature and as a result, she looked at fish, flowers and insects while designing the line. She was aiming to capture the textures and elements of nature like scales, leaves, fishtails and petals. In terms of her fashion inspiration, Jess admires Iris van Herpen and Alexander McQueen. They have a “limitless take on design” which she really enjoys. However, the majority of her own work is much more mathematical and scientific, like nature, even though it appears very organic.

For Jess’ Alumni Line piece, she is drawing her inspiration from nature again. However, this piece will be focused more on mythological creatures and the ideas surrounding leather. She was inspired by the “grandeur of old tombs and temples.” Additionally, she had been watching a lot of relevant films and their content intrigued her. “One of my favorite films, Pan’s Labyrinth was a large inspiration for my look. It depicts mythical creatures and mental alternate universes in a similar manner that I envision them.” Jess is taking this one step further. She is interested in the ideas behind imagination, insanity and mental illness and will try to incorporate those concepts into her piece. She confirms that this year’s piece will definitely be a “darker take.” Jess admits that she wasn’t as successful during her first time designing for LG and is hoping that this look will be better.


We had asked Jess to reflect a little on LG and how it has evolved during her involvement with the organization. As a producer, she had “envisioned it becoming a fashion show for an audience beyond Carnegie Mellon. I think it’s been getting there, and it’s amazing to see an organization that is run entirely of students reach so many people.” Her hopes for the future of LG encourages the board and the creative team to experiment more with technology, print and design. “There is so much freedom in designing a large-scale, professional show like Lunar Gala, that you’ll almost never see anywhere else. I hope the show continues to take advantage of it. Every year, the designers amaze me with their ideas. Oftentimes, the looks on the LG runway could definitely hold their own within the fashion world.” Jess reiterates what so many of our current and past members have enjoyed about being involved with LG: the diversity. Lunar Gala includes “all people from completely different disciplines. Its not just Design or Art majors. You have engineers and writers and scientists and so much more.”

Looking back on Lunar Gala, Jess’ favorite moment was the day before the LG: Strain (2016). “It was so surreal to see everything we had worked so hard for all year coming together. The whole year, the LG board is planning for a single show, and it’s hard to grasp the scale of it until the actual day of. There’s so much work that goes into it, and it’s amazing to see everything get built in a matter of hours.” Admiring the lights, stage and seats being placed, Jess reminisces on when “Everyone was practicing their walks for the last time, designers were making last minute adjustments, and the board was scrambling to finish show details, all while rigging was being put up over our heads.” She even notes, “It was really fun seeing people outside of LG try to peek in and get a glimpse of what was happening in Wiegand.”


A few fun facts about Jess:
She danced ballet for 12 years but she is still a major klutz.
Once, she told her mom she wanted to be a spoon when she grew up.
She constantly has to do things with her hands.
She has really disproportionately long fingers.
She has a pet tortoise named Turtle.

Designer Spotlight: de•struo
February 5, 2017

We are less than two weeks away from the show! Tickets went on sale today
in the CUC Commons. Tickets will also be available online to purchase. They will be available for purchase from February 6th to February 10th from 11-5 PM and February 13th to February 17th from 1-6 PM. Each ticket comes with admission to the after party which will be held at Social in Bakery Square.

The different levels of ticketing are as follows:

$20 General Admision
General Public
Free admission to after party

$30 Preferred Seating
General Public – Seating in rows 2-4 & Early Entrance
Free admission to after party

$45 VIP Seating
General public – First row seating & Early Entrance
Complimentary VIP Bag includes exclusive merchandise
Free admission to after party

Photo credits to our LG Photographers.

In addition to announcing our ticket sales, we are spotlighting another design team this week. de·struo is designed by Brandon Darreff, Zain Islma-Hashmi, and Gargi Lagvankar. This team of three are all third-year architecture majors and are using their past few years of education to create a line using concrete, rocket and plaster. The name of their line, de·struo originates from the Latin word, destruam meaning “to break down.” The team is taking this inspiration and casting forms of their materials to explore the deterioration of geometry. “Exploring a transition from man-made shapes to more natural flows, this line tests the boundaries of casting and blurs the line between construction and fashion. The gradual dissolution of rule sets and form highlights the human figure in new ways; and the transition from geometric and pristine to burned, cracked, and ruined brings out a new beauty that can be found by putting together the remains of rubble.”


“In our second year spring semester studio our instructor introduced us to the possibilities of using cement and plaster for architectural model making,” explained Brandon. “We each worked with the materials in different capacities (e.g. I worked a lot with plaster, Zain experimented with burning cement, and Gargi worked with both materials) for our own studio projects. With LG we thought it would be interesting to push the application of these materials beyond our basic understanding and start to introduce forces including movement and gravity into the equation to investigate the results.” LG has been a pretty big part of the team’s life. Like many of the other teams they spent extra time in Pittsburgh working on their line over break. Since the team is using unique materials they have encountered unexpected challenges throughout their process. “Honestly, we thought everything would work out exactly the way we thought it would, in fact nothing has! It’s been a rollercoaster,” says Gargi. The team has been able to push through and has resolved any issues with the casting so their pieces will be ready for the show. “We really tested what casting can be used for and how to do it and with new materials and techniques,” Zain says to describe their process. “Sometimes it’s paid off, but we’ve also had more pieces than we can count completely break into a hundred pieces.”

As a team, they are very dependent on each one another. When asked what gets them up in the morning, Zain usually has to wake up Brandon, warning him that they have 5 minutes to get to class. Zain responds that it is usually “Brandon that has to wake me up” and Gargi gives Zain a daily wake up call every morning. Their team represents the “interdisciplinary work across the school.” With very different backgrounds, they have come together as friends, future-architects and now, LG designers.


Zain was kind of the start of the de·struo line. He worked and explored Tokyo on his own this summer. He had time to reflect on the past year, and like the rest of the team, he was intrigued by the use of casting materials for architecture. “After traveling and working, I got back to school and almost immediately asked Brandon and Gargi if they wanted to do a line using this technique; they said yes, and thus our line was born.” On his bucket list (while at CMU), he hopes to design another line of his own. A few other items on his list are going to a School of Drama show, eating the best brunch in Pittsburgh, and winning an honor or award at graduation for his parents. Zain jokes that his motivation at CMU is graduate and become a trophy husband, but honestly, he is still figuring out what he wants to do when he graduates in two years. “I love design and creating/making things, especially objects and installations, and have a real interest in things centered around people and the human experience. I may start a firm that focuses on architecture/design with an emphasis on installation/promoting the human experience. Or I may just marry rich and become a trophy husband, either one works for me honestly.” A few facts about Zain: he has a cat and spent three weeks hanging out with it over winter break, he’s addicted to sugar and he owns every color pair of pants (except for white because he doesn’t trust himself with “nice things”).

Like his team member, Brandon has not figured out what he wants to do post-graduation but he thinks he might want to pursue a focus in interior design. But he does know that when LG is over, he’ll just take a “five-minute breather and move onto my next project.” Currently, Brandon’s most embarrassing moment occurred while he was working on the LG line. “I was working on LG a few weeks ago and my landlord’s maintenance guy walked in on me belting “Kiss it Better” by Rihanna. I was 2 minutes deep and really feeling it.” While the maintenance may not have been impressed, Brandon does have some music skills. He mastered the snare drum when he was in 4th grade. He has a rapper name, it’s B$ (in case the “CMU gig doesn’t work out) but he doesn’t know how to rap. He is also very good at interpretative dance.

Besides architecture, Gargi loves the outdoors, nature and wildlife. This explains the one thing on her “CMU Bucket List,” she wants to “find the underground tunnels that everyone keeps taking about” and it is evident that she likes exploring and doing new things. Over winter break, she went on a tiger spotting trip to see wildlife in India. This is one of the many exciting places she has lived in her life. She was born in Dubai and now, her family lives between Malaysia and India. In the last three years, when she visited home, she has returned to a different house each year. With all this moving, she only owns seven pairs of shoes at a given time and she can’t live without her Birkenstocks. A few fun facts about Gargi are that she LOVES coffee and drinks 3-8 cups a day, she knows how to make pasta from scratch and her fashion inspiration is Audrey Hepburn.


Designer Spotlight: etats
February 3, 2017

With just a little over two weeks to the show, Lunar Gala has been holding practices running through the official show order. This gives the models a chance to practice and perfect the choreography. During these run-throughs, our designers are able to assess each of their looks and make final adjustments so that everything fits perfectly on the day of the show. This week, we are spotlighting one of our hard-working lines, designed by Joanne Lo and Lynn Kim.

Photo credits to LG Photographers.

Joanne and Lynn’s line plays on the “paradox of the multiple levels of complexity formed around us from the simple.” Drawing inspiration from the water molecule, they are hoping to create a line that explores the various intensities that could be achieved in volume, texture, shade, and structure through the rearrangement of materials. They explained that different states of matter are achieved through the slight alterations in the relationship between water molecules themselves so they are also utilizing the zip ties in a variety of forms to mimic these changes.


They made the decision to use the zip ties because “they have the capacity to create the illusionary effect of synchronizing structure with the unstructured to represent the different states of matter.” The material lends its flexibility and modular design to allow “limitless augmentation and exclusion.” Joanne and Lynn have found that zip ties satisfy our creative and design needs as well as the shows’. “Our models will be able to move through the runway without discomfort or hindrance. The durability of the material will also sustain through multiple wears.”


For Joanne, working with a unique line is not a new venture. As a freshman, she was a part of the Red Bull line. She enjoyed this experience and wanted to end her time at Carnegie Mellon channeling her passion in design through fashion. As a senior in Decision Science, Joanne hopes to be able to pursue something creative when she graduates. When LG ends, Joanne plans to use her free time to explore some personal projects that she hasn’t had time to do. She is thinking of learning guitar and continuing to explore Pittsburgh.


In addition to being co-designers, Lynn and Joanne have been close friends since middle school. After being friends for 11 years, this endeavor is something they are both very passionate about. Lynn had always wanted to get involved with LG, but never had the time. She has always had a love for fashion and for each of her birthdays, her dad gives her a special type of shoe. She says she “can’t live without her collection.” After moving many times, these gifts are something that she cares a lot about. Palos Verdes, CA (Joanne has lived here her whole life) is Lynn’s favorite place she has lived because of the beautiful landscapes and ocean views. In addition to living in California, she has lived in Mexico, New Jersey and Malaysia. Also, Lynn is trilingual and speaks Korean, English and Spanish. As a Business Administration major (with a Design minor), this definitely gives her an edge. Lynn is very well-traveled, especially after living in a multitude of locations. She studied abroad in Paris last year, which gave her the opportunity to explore Europe. Over winter break, she also visited Mexico with her dad.

A few fun facts about this design team:
Lynn has 2 cats and 6 dogs. She got a Pomeranian puppy for Christmas.
She played varsity golf during high school.
She loves pole fitness.

Joanne has three minors and came to CMU as an architecture major.
She used to run cross country, play tennis and golf.
She can’t stand the cold weather!

Look forward to seeing etats on February 18th! Tickets go on sale online and on-campus February 6th.

Model Spotlight: Danny Sogunro
January 29, 2017

We have big things coming for you – watch out for something new and exciting this evening! During this past week, our designers showed off their lines and the progress they have made while models began run-through’s of the whole show. This week, we are spotlighting one of this year’s new models, Danny Sogunro. He cannot wait to see the show come together. “I know everyone has been working super hard so it’ll be great to see everything come together on the day of.” We are looking forward to seeing him walk in a few short weeks!

Photo credits to our LG Photographers.

Danny is a junior studying Decision Science and minoring in Engineering. In his free time after LG ends, he says he will continue to “be eaten alive by school and work.” This seems to fuel him while he is at CMU as he is motivated to make it out alive and graduate. But before he graduates, Danny wants to check off a few things from his bucket list like going to the roof of Wean and Hamerschlag Halls. It is rumored that the views are pretty amazing. He would overcome his fear of heights just to experience this. After graduating, he hopes to pursue a career in consulting. He aims to work with product design and user interfaces through this type of job. For Danny, “every day is the best day. But, if I had to pick a specific time period I guess it was when I finally (kind of) figured out what I want to do with my life.”


Some of Danny’s “best days” have been with his family. They are part of the reason he gets up in the morning: “everyone who wants me to succeed: my family and friends.” He and his family have lived and traveled to some unique places. His favorite place he has visited was Spain. “My family and I took a trip down there when I was younger and I got to see the Santiago Bernabeau. I love soccer” and he used to play club soccer at CMU. Danny was born in England, however, he is originally from Lagos, Nigeria where he lived there for fourteen years. He later moved to the States during high school and now, he lives in Maryland. Over winter break, he spent his time at home with his family and his brother visited the rest of them from England. Danny spent time with his brother and the rest of his family exploring museums, eating, and relaxing.


Danny fits really well into Lunar Gala this year especially with our lines having an emphasis on streetwear. “I’m heavy into streetwear but on some days I don’t mind dressing up a bit more. It really depends on how I’m feeling.” In terms of celebrity style icons, Kanye West and ASAP Rocky are easily his picks. He insists that he will never let go of his Yeezy’s because he “went through hell and back to get them.” Danny is also “the biggest Kanye fan you will ever meet.”

A few fun facts about Danny:
He produces and engineers music.
He has tried to learn several times, but he doesn’t know how to swim.
He is bilingual and speaks fluent English and Yoruba.
Thanks to his girlfriend, he knows way more about makeup than most guys do.
He tries to make Buzzfeed or Tasty recipes. Last time, he made Buffalo Chicken Croissants. Reviews said “they were fire.”