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Nicole Wezowicz ’16 Nicole Wezowicz ’16

Supermodel Emme ’85 has selected an evening gown designed by fashion design major Nicole Wezowicz ’16 as the winner of the inaugural Fashion Without Limits 12+ EMME Award™. Fashion Without Limits (FWL) is an initiative launched by Emme and the fashion design program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts to promote the creation of size 12+ designs in the junior year through a special competition.

Emme selected Wezowicz’s gown after reviewing the finalists’ designs on campus at the April 10 fashion and beauty communications milestone fashion show presented by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and VPA. Wezowicz will receive $500, and Emme will wear her winning design at a red carpet event.

Wezowicz and her classmates worked on their designs throughout the academic year using dress forms in size 16, 18 and 20 donated by Wolf Form Co. exclusively for Emme and FWL. Wezowicz benefited from the guidance of Emme, who visited the fashion design studios twice to offer her expertise and critique the students’ initial designs.

“The inspiration behind the dress was to keep it classy, elegant and comfortable,” says Wezowicz. “I understood the importance having a form of stretch to the dress after Emme came up and visited our class in the fall. She stressed how important comfort was in order to make sure the wearer wouldn't feel stiff or constricted in the design.”

"By trying something new and going where no other university design program has ever gone, students who participated in Syracuse University's inaugural FWL are changing how fashion education is taught by including women sized 0-24 in their creative process,” says Emme. “I'm equally proud of Nicole Wezowicz, winner of the first EMME FWL Award! Her red carpet, royal blue lace dress was an obvious choice in fit, proportion, style and comfort when it was presented at the much-anticipated fashion and beauty communications milestone fashion show this April."

FWL was created in direct response to a need for increased availability of size 12+ fashions throughout all levels of distribution in the fashion industry today. The 12+ represents the size range a majority of American women typically wear, which is often categorized as “plus-size,” for lack of a more acceptable term.

“The Fashion Without Limits competition overall was a great experience,” says Wezowicz. “Being able to work in all different sizes of dress forms helped to make me feel like a more well-rounded and developed designer. I think the competition and movement really empowers the idea that in fashion all shapes and sizes are beautiful. I am very excited to be a part of something that stands for the ideals of many different types of body shapes, and I think as a designer I will be more aware of this when sketching out my ideas for future garments.”