It’s been a few weeks since St. Augustine Fashion Week returned for Season 5 with 20 small brand designers and more than 20 emerging student designers showing off their one-of-a-kind creative wares in front of hundreds of attendees. Without a doubt, it was 2018 Student Design Winner, Dmitri Sieracki, who was the one to watch.
Born and raised in Jacksonville – heck, she’s still working on the raised part as she’s only a junior at Bartram Trail High School’s Design Academy – Dmitri wowed the judges at last year’s STAFW with an orange floral men’s collared shirt, vest, and pants ensemble. The trio of pieces helped her win one of the most coveted recognitions and secured the opportunity to present her first full collection at this year’s event. “I was shocked,” the 17-year-old explains of being named 2018 Student Design Winner. “There were so many phenomenal pieces that were entered. I was the only one to put a male piece on a male model and I think that helped me win. It was a great experience and a great look behind the scenes of the fashion industry.”
Growing up in Northeast Florida, Dmitri learned the basics of sewing from her grandmother, who is still involved in her creative endeavors and attends every show. “My grandmother taught me how to sew, but I was the one who wanted to start making clothes,” Dmitri explains. “When I was eight years old, I bought zebra fabric from Joann’s and made a shirt and skirt out of it. That was my first taste at being a fashion designer. My family has been and still is extremely supportive of my work. They help me pay for all of the supplies that I need and I’ve always been supremely grateful for them.”
For St. Augustine Fashion Week Season 5, Dmitri unveiled a 10-piece collection based on Norse Mythology Gods and Goddesses like Thor, Odin, Loki, Freyr, Freya, Sif and Sol, and Mani to name a few. The young designer has enlisted the help of both models provided by STAFW along with her boyfriend and a few friends from school.
“All of my pieces were made specifically for each model,” Dmitri says. “They’re all different heights and sizes, so they’re the only ones who can wear each piece. I’ve been sketching since last summer and sewing since winter break. The collection includes three male-cut pieces and seven female-cut pieces, but, honestly, I look at fashion as a fluid thing that shouldn’t be kept to gender roles.”
With about a year-and-a-half left of high school, Dmitri is already looking forward to a bright future in fashion design. She will be putting her St. Augustine Fashion Week Season 5 collection into a portfolio for college applications and is working on creating a brand extension of her creations before graduating from Bartram Trail.
“I really want to get my name out there and create an identity for the work that I’m doing,” Dmitri says. “Fashion Week has been a huge opportunity to help me accomplish this. It’s nerve-wracking but exciting.”
Photography by Kate Gardiner