Lillie DeVries has interned with Sherri Hill and Under Armour while working toward becoming a couture designer in New York.
Lillie DeVries plans to move to New York City and work as a fashion designer after graduation. When she isn't studying or sewing, Lillie likes to go to $5 movie nights, hang out with friends, and hammock on central campus.
Lillie DeVries designs for big brands, nears couture career
Lillie DeVries’ interest in fashion design was inevitable, considering her family tree: Lillie’s great grandmother was a seamstress and her mother worked in fashion retailing.
“I think I got into fashion because my mom was really into it. I watched [my mother] do fashion shows in the house for her customers and got to help with that,” Lillie said. “[My great grandmother] also did costumes for theater. I did a little costume designing in high school, so that also got me started.”
Her great grandmother, Lois, is the inspiration for Lillie’s label, “Lillian & Lois.”
Coming into the apparel, merchandising, and design program at Iowa State University with little experience in drawing and sewing, Lillie was intimidated. However, she was motivated to develop the skills she needed to pursue design.
“I was set on design. So going into it, I was very motivated, but it was very scary,” she said. “[Sewing class] was a lot of hard work, a lot of staying after hours. I just had to be really dedicated to what I wanted to do.”
To further enhance her skills, Lillie has completed two internships with big-name brands, Sherri Hill in Austin, Texas, and Under Armour (under Centric Brands) in New York City.
“My [Centric Brands] internship was in the Empire State Building. It was right in the middle of everything,” she said.
Her internships with Sherri Hill and Centric Brands gave Lillie the opportunity to see both the corporate and creative sides of design. She learned indispensable skills to aid her future design career in both internships, but she especially enjoyed getting hands-on experience with gowns for her internship with Sherri Hill.
After all her experience with designing at school and at her internships, Lillie knows that she wants to commit herself to designing evening wear and haute couture.
“Over the years, I’ve found that evening wear is my favorite,” she said. “I would love to be an assistant designer at a couture company and help with picking fabric swatches and all the details — I’m really into the details. And sketching every day would be nice.”