Juniper Rakhman Gerardi has long been on a path toward fashion.
When they were young, they learned to knit and sew from their family. During high school, they began to work more with Indigenous beadwork.
But it was during a summer in college spent working at a glamping resort in Maine when Rakhman Gerardi decided they would make fashion their career.
The senior is a Robertson scholar, meaning they are dual enrolled at both UNC and Duke University. They created their own area of study, fashion and apparel design, through the interdisciplinary studies major at UNC, combining courses from drama, media and journalism and studio art departments.
Already, Rakhman Gerardi is building up an extensive resume. They spent the past summer in South Africa, designing a line for an established brand called Ginger Mary. The brand is influenced by the many cultures of South Africa, a detail that Rakhman Gerardi highlighted in their designs.
"As I was developing this collection, I was both using my own creativity as well as trying to think, ‘How can I honor Ginger Mary's heritage as a brand and the symbols that their customers expect from them while giving us something new?’" Rakhman Gerardi said.
The collection was made up of three subcollections, called Creatively Capetonian, Boudoir Dressing and Elevated Basics.
Creatively Capetonian focused on the heritage of Cape Town and its many cultures. Boudoir Dressing reflected on recent trends in fashion, like corsets and slip dresses. Elevated Basics was their unique take on staple pieces like t-shirts and tank tops.
Personal style is something very important for Rakhman Gerardi, as they said it reflects so much of a person’s character and beliefs. They design for people who value vintage and artistic pieces, and aren’t afraid to shy away from a unique statement.