Always on trend: Fashion designer Addie Cooley pursues her dream


Photo by Jillian Thomas

Cooley models a top and skirt she made in her fashion and textiles class. She glued real pressed flowers onto her skirt for a pop of color.

Jillian Thomas and Maggie Hoppel

When Addie Cooley makes art, she uses people as her canvas. 

Cooley, a junior, is also an athlete on the swim team and a social media buff. However, the passion she plans to make her career out of is fashion. Cooley’s long history with fashion allows her to create her own designs with others in the Fashion Club that she established here at NHS. 

“I upcycle clothes that don’t have any use to me anymore. I also design garments and make them,” Cooley said. 

Cooley’s love for fashion spans back to her early childhood. She says she often experimented with the outfits she wore to school.

“I’ve been designing outfits even when I was little, just drawing on random Post-It notes,” Cooley said.  

Her talents not only include functional clothing, but also artistic designs that make a statement about the way she sees the world. Not everything she makes is about “trending” styles, but represents a part of her mind and heart.

“Right now I’m working on a piece that is made fully out of old homework assignments, so it’s all black and white with a few paint splashings,” Cooley said. 

Cooley established the fashion club this fall with the help of Hannah McCann, the fashion and textiles teacher. The club has since grown to 25 members, all of them passionate about designing new fashions and helping others. 

“My idea was to start a fashion club where we could design outfits for the runway, sell tickets for the show for people to watch, and have all the profits go to a charity,” Cooley said. 

Charity is a huge aspect of Cooley’s fashion career, and she wants her art to help others in any way possible. For the immediate future, she came up with a new and interesting way that could promote her designs and help others in need.

“We are sewing purses that we will send to a charity that fills them with feminine products such as tampons and pads and then ship them to girls that are living in poverty and don’t have anything,” Cooley said. 

Cooley plans for the club members to gain experience through the purse project, called “Sew Powerful,” in order to reach her original dream of her own runway. And, slowly but surely, the fashion club is honing their skills. 

We are hoping that through the purse project we are doing now we can teach basic sewing skills to a lot of people, and then next year, people that stay with the club will be able to start designing outfits for the runway.”

Fashion as an art form is something close to Cooley’s heart that she uses as a means to help those around her. Her designs make her who she is. 

“I think it is a great way to be creative in a way that’s mine and functional,” Cooley said.