Beyond the Essentialism with MICA Fiber Grad, Erin Sudeck

Where were you on April 20, 2013?

Ms. Charm was sitting in the front row at Maryland Insitute College of Art experimental fashion titled, R.I.P V.I.P. Throughout the night, many types of themes and garments were displayed.

From ritualistic act of marriage to a visual theater with puppets to 90s silhouettes to comic book couture to hand-painted clothing. One collection that stood out was Essentialism by Erin Sudeck.

Erin Sudeck’s women’s wear collection at MICA’s RIP VIP.

“I was very stressed during the second semester, much more stressed during the few days leading up to the event,” Erin Sudeck said. I experienced a roller coaster of emotions the day of the event.I was so nervous about my performance that day. I was also thinking about everything that could go wrong. On top of that I was very nervous for all of my fellow peers and hoping their performances went as best as they could, if not perfect. After my first performance, I was so relieved! I could no stop crying because I was so happy that my performance went as best as it could(it looked like everything was intentional to the audience, but really my models and I missed a cue here and there), and I was so proud of everyone else. Then, I was just exhausted and wanted to go home after the first show.Besides the stress of the entire experience, the best thing was how close everyone got. Also, how proud I was of myself, my friends/fellow designers, Valeska, and us as an entire group for pulling off a spectacular event.”

It was the simplicity and craftmanship that drew me to the Essentialism collection. From that showcase, it will always be a favorite of mine.

Erin Sudeck's menswear collection "Chief".
Erin Sudeck’s menswear collection “Chief”.

As we countdown to another Week of Fashion at MICA (a month away to be exact), I decided to catch up with Erin Sudeck. She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art this past December (2013)with a BFA in Fibers with an experimental fashion concentration.

“Since I just graduated I haven’t been able to focus so much on my own work as I would like due to searching for jobs,” Sudeck said. But prior to graduating, during my thesis critique and discussions with peers, I have already seen myself noticing more details that would make my collection a luxury streetwear collection. Ideas related to tailoring, embellishments, and fabric choice are the details that I’ve been taking into consideration.I have been working on my fashion illustration and flats since graduating. I basically taught myself and with the help of, how to use illustrator to make fashion flats.”


While studying at MICA, the Bel Air, Maryland native valued the support, honesty, and motivation from peers as well as faculty within the Fibers Department. In the beginning, Sudeck had aspirations to work at Anthropologie creating visual displays. Over time, her plans for the future changed.

“While at MICA I took a garment design class, which I enjoyed,” Sudeck said. Then, I took Multimedia Event (the experimental fashion show class), which is where I began to see myself getting involved in fashion. After MME, I was working on a menswear collection and during that moment, I realized I do want to be a men’s streetwear designer.”


The Fiber graduate has completed a mens streetwear line called “Chief” using sheer fabrics, digital prints, weaving, beading, and hand embroidery.

“It aims to bridge the gap between the limited options of menswear and the abundance of embellished styles available in womenswear,” Sudeck said. The collection was sparked by the idea that women’s fashion has embraced menswear (Chanel making women’s suits), and menswear has not.”


The 22 year old fashion designer hopes to launch her menswear collection into its very own brand. Right now, she is digently focusing on search for a job where she can learn the tricks of the trade of fashion branding.

“Hopefully LA or NYC will be my next destination in 5 months, which is when my lease ends,” Sudeck said. Till then I am going to continue working on my menswear.”

“My advice for a future fiber baby is to never stop making. If you feel like you need to make something that is not related to what your currently working on, just make it.It could be something that works its way into the body of work, it could open your eyes up to a whole new perspective, or it could be a really good break from your main focus.” -Erin Sudeck