November 14, 2009

From police science to fashion design

'I do everything myself'

Diné clothing designer hopes for a store of her own

By Jan-Mikael Patterson
Victorialyn McCarthy, 20, wanted to be a crime scene investigator when she decided to major in police science at Mesa Community College.

She saw it as carrying on the family tradition. Her late grandfather, Turner Giger, was once sheriff of McKinley County, she said, and also served as a Gallup police officer until he retired and moved to the Valley with McCarthy's grandmother, Nellie Giger, 68.

But she ended up deciding on a full-time career in fashion design. And why not? Sewing and repairing clothes had helped her pay for college.
On the business side:She created an online store and also found a retail outlet--Cherry Frequency, a clothing shop in Mesa's Fiesta Mall, willing to give rack space to an unknown young designer.

Customers at her online store,, are located as far away as Australia and all over the U.S., she said. One of her most frequent customers is located in Virginia.

McCarthy's designs incorporate Goth, Lolita, Cosplay, Cyber Goth, along with more obscure fashion trends that catch her eye. They are geared towards the young, and she knows not all young women have the budget for big-ticket designer clothes, so she keeps her prices affordable.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Aboriginal Designers at BC Fashion Week and Clauschee Mentors Young Designers.

Below:  "Creativity with needle, thread and fabric has Victorialyn McCarthy, 20, designing clothes like this pink wedding dress." (Times photo--Leigh T. Jimmie)

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