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Local design student collaborates with clothing company on fashion line

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) -- What once seemed like an out-of-reach dream for one UW-Stout student is now becoming a reality, as her fashion designs are being shipped all around the world.

"I was like seven years old when I realized I wanted to go into fashion. It was always such a far reach for me. It was like, 'that's just something people say, it doesn't really happen,'" Kalia Moua said. "I always felt that way. Maybe it was because I grew up here, and there was nobody that would ever dare to have that career."

Moua, 24, is a junior at UW-Stout studying fashion apparel.

"[When I was younger] I would always buy random clothing, or like clothing that I thought stood out, and I would alter it to myself or combine it with other garments to make something one of kind," she said.

She decided to follow her dreams of entering the industry after she lost her father in 2017.

"I really asked myself, 'what do I want to do?' I don't want to lay on my deathbed and be like, 'oh, I wish I pursued that career,'" she said.

She started her journey at Chippewa Valley Technical College and is now halfway through the program at Stout.

Last fall, she was told by a friend about an opportunity to collaborate on a collection with fast-fashion company SHEIN, and she quickly applied.

"I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and give them a lot of designs," she said. "I gave them 20 designs and they were like 'we'll produce all of them.'"

The company is working with dozens of up-and-coming designers, including Moua. She was able to turn this opportunity into an internship for school while having creative control over her collection.

"Somedays, I'll just start screaming out of nowhere because I can't believe that this is happening," she said. "[Here I am], Smalltown, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, girl."

Moua's collection, SHEIN X Sayndo, can be found on SHIEN.com.

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Stephanie Rodriguez

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