JUKI Designer Ambassador: Kovid Kapoor

Today we’re introducing a new addition to the JUKI team, Kovid Kapoor, one of our new JUKI Designer Ambassadors! Based in Brooklyn, New York, Kapoor is an Indian fashion designer that focuses on the luxury and high-end fashion market. Holding an impressive background in fashion, Kapoor has won the National Textile Corporation’s Young Designer Hunt competition in India, completed his master’s in fashion design from the Academy of Art University, and was a contestant on the 17th season of Project Runway. So it’s no surprise his work has gone on to be featured in well-known fashion titles like Elle USA, Elle India, and Vogue Italia. Follow along as we share more about Kovid and his life in fashion below!

Photo Credit: Kovid Kapoor

Starting at a very young age, Kovid learned how to hand sew from his grandmother. Finding love for art, he continued to be passionate about the hobby through his teenage years and adult life. During the foundation years of his bachelor’s degree, Kovid started using sewing machines in his work. As Kovid shares, “It was one of the most crucial subjects and essential skills to develop a successful garment.”

Kovid’s brand is a small-scale brand that believes in creating dynamic clothing to find a healthy balance between art and viable commercial product. Inspired by tales and stories that celebrate feminine and LGBTQ stories, he believes fashion should represent an individual’s identity and be used as a form of self-expression. Focusing on contemporized pieces with a traditional twist, his line is relaxed yet helps buyers feel confident in their look. His motivation for creating his pieces is a therapeutic process, “What motivates me to create is to project and express my thoughts and creative aspirations through fashion and clothing. It’s a therapeutic process of self-reflection, and every collection helps me evolve not just in my creative space but also my emotional space.”

Besides his fashion brand, Kovid has accomplished great success in the art world of fashion. His favorite art piece to date was a conceptual art wear garment inspired by the Mask Project Series, in collaboration-with Akshit Bhardwaj. This art piece was an enlarged garment version of a mask, designed with three-dimensional details. Enjoying the organic process of the garment creation and the carefree approach with which they followed, the final pieces reflected their experience in the creative process. Another art piece, one he claims as his greatest success, was for an installation in the Asian Art Museum vault. A 12-foot tall saree dress tent made for art directors Adrienne Pao and Robin Lasser, designed with bright colors and traditional style. Click here to view the art piece!

Photo Credit: Kovid Kapoor

Currently, Kovid is working on his upcoming collection all constructed on his trusted Juki machine. A must-have tool, Kovid shares a good sewing machine is worth the investment because of its importance in elevating the speed and efficiency of his work. Describing the upcoming collection as something new and fresh, he’s beyond thrilled to showcase the new line once completed. With a passion for his work, Kovid’s love for sewing comes from the process of creating. “There is something very rewarding about constructing something yourself. It adds a personal touch to an otherwise store-bought world.”

As we finished getting to know Kovid, he had one final tidbit of advice for new sewers in the community, “The key to success in sewing is consistency and practice. Sewing is a skill that is finessed with practice and time so it’s completely fine if the initial projects don’t work the important thing is to keep practicing.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Kovid Kapoor! Follow along as we continue to join Kovid in his fashion journey, and visit us here to learn more about Kovid and our other designers!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Mah-Jing Wong

Welcoming new JUKI Designer Ambassador, meet Mah-Jing Wong! Founder and Designer for his line Mah-Jing Wong, he began sewing as a child under his grandmother’s teachings. An activity they loved doing together, sewing is the connection to his childhood and grandmother he keeps with him to this day.

His beginning in sewing is a sweet memory, with his first project being a hat! First seen on Michael Jackson and wanting his own, he went to his grandmother and asked how to create his own. From there, he completed his first project, grandmother along his side, and step by step sewed it together. This event would set the tone for his future career.

Later in life, Mah-Jing would attend the Arts Institute of Philadelphia, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Marketing. In his senior year, he would begin interning with top fashion designers Zac Posen. It was here that he began planning to create his own clothing brand that launched in 2011. Inspired by Japanese anime and the Marvel Comic book world, his work uses simple silhouettes with hand-dyed prints and geometrical shapes. His favorite work to create is his bodycon dresses, seen during his time as a contestant on Project Runway.

Since his time on project runway, Mah-Jing has continued to move up in the fashion industry, working with superstars such as Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Chole Bailey, and many more! With his work garnering attention for its style and boldness, it has been featured in pop lifestyle settings like stage performances, music videos, and Magisterhaft covers. Mah-Jing continues to wow his followers as he works on the new collection, with orders already being placed.

With a design style that is innovative and fun, Mah-Jing’s favorite sewing trend right now is the exposed overlock thread. Using his JUKI overlock MCS-1700QVP, his favorite tool in his studio, he can create the base for all his creations and easily add this trend.

Mah-Jing states his experience in sewing has been rewarding. Like anything in life, sewing has had its ups and downs, but it remains his safe space for expressing his creativity like so many of you. His piece of advice for sewers is this, “stay calm and trust the process.” A saying we all understand in sewing and quilting.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Mah-Jing as much as we have JUKI Lovers! So follow along with his journey and JUKI today and visit us here today!

Which fashion piece was your favorite? Let us know below!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Megan Smith

Joining us as a new JUKI Designer Ambassador is Megan Smith, creator and founder of Megan Renee, a sustainable women’s contemporary brand. We are so excited to introduce Megan to you, JUKI Lovers! Follow along below through our interview with Megan and her journey in sewing.

Megan’s story starts like many of ours; she joined the sewing world because of her love for fashion and art. The ability to create her garments and showcase her personality led to the fashion and designs she shares today. Contemporary and lively, her designs are inspired by women, the arts, and traveling. Finding inspiration in her experiences, she can create pieces that truly speak from her soul and love of color. Using the art of sewing to relax, she loves the peace it brings when she’s creating.

“It’s a stress reliever, and I love having the ability to create something beautiful.”

Her love of sewing and designing has brought her great success in the fashion industry like having the chance to compete on Amazon Prime’s “Making the Cut.” Proud of the work she created while on the show, she was impressed with how quickly she put together her designs and brought them to life in such a short time in each episode. Her favorite tool to keep on hand while on the show? Her snipping scissors! With the speed she was creating, this tool was perfect for keeping up. Finishing as a top 4 finalist, her work was praised by Naomi Campbell and other judges for her edgy looks. Amazing!

Since “Making the Cut,” Megan has focused on her fashion line “Megan Renee,” a line that empowers and celebrates bold and unapologetic femininity. The contemporary brand focuses on reducing waste after witnessing the effects of fast fashion in the industry. For example, her first collection, created out of sustainable deadstock fabric, was perfect for her vision. Using her own originally designed prints, she was able to digitally print the fabric and reduce the ink and water needed for traditional printing. Her favorite trend, which can be found in her designs, is patchworking and color blocking, radiating the boldness she strives for, Megan’s had the opportunity to work with celebrities like Issa Rae, Becky G, and Dominique Fishback.

As Megan continues to take the fashion industry by a storm, she’s most excited about finishing and launching her new fall collection. Megan’s time in the fashion industry has been as challenging as it has been rewarding. With the experience she obtained from working in other fashion companies to her time on “Making the Cut,” she’s been able to learn new tricks in sewing and launched her clothing line. Her motivation to continue creating is honest, “it’s the feeling I get once I complete a design. I love seeing how my garments make my customers feel, and I like doing photoshoots after we’ve finished a collection.”

We are so excited to see Megan’s new fall collection and her future work! We hope you enjoyed getting to know Megan more with us, and we’ll leave here with some parting advice from Megan herself to new sewers out there, “Practice, practice, and practice. Keep going and learning no matter how hard it may seem.”

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Will Riddle

Today we’re introducing Will Riddle, our new JUKI Designer Ambassador! Known for his bold risks and designs, Will’s journey in sewing has taken him everywhere, and we are so excited it has brought him to JUKI! Coming up in the fashion industry Will has been a contestant on Amazon Prime’s Season 1 “Making the Cut,” presented a collection at NYFW, and styled celebrities such as Obama’s, Camila Cabello, Megan Markle, and more! Follow along as we get to know Will Riddle and introduce him to the JUKI team.

Will’s story starts not in fashion but painting! While always attracted to the arts, Will’s first medium was oil and acrylic painting. Taking 15 years’ worth of lessons, he decided it was time for something new and broke away from the medium to find a new one, branching out to the fashion world. Graduating from the Fashion School at Kent State University, he received his CFDA+ certification for his work in evening wear and achieved one of his most significant accomplishments.

“A few weeks after I graduated college, I had the opportunity to create a capsule collection that walked the runway at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week. To be that age and entering the industry with such an accomplishment under my belt was an amazing feeling.”

Diving into the world of sewing, Will turned to it as a form of comfort. Seeing it as his time to relax and unwind, he placed sole focus on his projects and creating. Will views designing and sewing as a therapeutic activity and finds sewing like a puzzle. He engineers the pattern pieces and designs to come together in a certain way for the perfect finish.

Finding inspiration for his work is exciting as he pulls from his own life experiences. Viewing life experiences as unique to each person and non-replicable, he draws from his past to create beautiful futures. In addition, he finds motivation behind the fact that creating is all he knows how to do. From an early on exposure to art, he’s been able to ensure that he’s constantly surrounded by creativity in his life, from fashion and music to performance and more.

Will’s present finds him most excited about developing custom prints and artwork featured in future collections! Using his favorite tool, a JUKI industrial sewing machine, he’s able to create fashion pieces he’s proud of. “I was spoiled in college by learning how to professionally sew on a fleet of new JUKI machines, and as soon as I started building my atelier, made the investment to have one of my own!” His work is bold and different, and his current favorite trend is domestic embroidery machines! Using his JUKI quilting machine DX-3000QVP and MO-2000QVP, he’s able to create personalized artworks with embellishments and accessories. This tool comes in handy when he designs his second favorite kind of outfit, campy Halloween costumes! His first favorite is the evening gowns he’s known for. 

Will’s experience in sewing has been exciting! Still coming up in the fashion industry Will has had a whole career he feels, “from managing the atelier at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Oscar de la Renta, to managing NYC factory relationships for sample creation, working with overseas factories, teaching newcomers how to sew and everything in between!” One word he would use for his projects? “Complex.” Created with the idea of bringing out bold styles and looks, it’s no wonder he’s gotten this far!

Will’s future in sewing is exciting and filled with opportunities, JUKI Lovers! His advice to new sewers joining is to complete projects at your skill level. We know how fun it can be to start large, but like

Will states, “feeling of accomplishment you get from successfully completing a project that you find slightly challenging, but not impossible, is incredibly rewarding and helps to encourage more difficult projects as you sharpen your skills.”

We hope you loved learning about Will as much as we did! So follow along as we continue introducing new JUKI Designers these coming weekends! Which Will Riddle design did you love best? Let us know down below!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Samantha Rei

Joining us in our JUKI Designer Ambassador Program is Samantha Rei! Samantha is the owner and founder of the clothing line “Samantha Rei,” a style that embodies sweetness, femininity, and attention to detail that Samantha is known for. You can see her inspiration in her work; she finds designs in everyday life and turns to music and stories when creating. Her recent collections have embodied themes from Vanitas painting and celestial-themed prints. Creating comes as second nature to Samantha, stating that creating is in her.

“It’s a primal thing. I don’t know why, but I’m driven to create. Even when it’s hard, I try to make myself because I know I’ll be happier on the other side, having made something beautiful.”

Samantha’s journey started not in sewing but comic book art! After pursuing her degree in illustrating and painting, she moved her art into a new medium and attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College for Apparel Technologies. After graduating, she created her first fashion label, “Blasphemina’s Closet” one of the first Lolita lines in the US, in 2000. Since starting her new brand, “Samantha Rei,” in 2013, she’s been featured in  Huffington Post, Shojo Beat, the American Gothic and Lolita Bible, Gothic Beauty, Glamour UK, and Vogue UK. Samantha’s love for sewing over her 20+ years as a professional designer has come from the challenges and new skills she’s continued to gain. As she states, “I am constantly trying to learn new techniques. I love gaining new knowledge.”

In 2015, Samantha authored and illustrated a how-to-book on style for Steampunk and Cosplay fashion! Her favorite projects to create are those where she can fully be dramatic. It’s no secret why cosplay would be a fun hobby in fashion to her! Recently, while creating fashion designs for weddings, she’s found herself placing dramatic capes on the gowns, creating a look that is eye-catching and special on its own. Her most tremendous recent success has been designing and creating fashion looks for Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan for her inauguration and wedding.

Samantha’s experience in sewing has been one of growth. Her drive to learn has led Samantha to where she is now, and she continues to acknowledge that she doesn’t know everything and neither do others. Because of this, she strives to do better with each project and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. What once felt like a world of gatekeeping trade fashion secrets has turned into a world where knowledge is more openly shared. Social media has allowed newcomers to feel invited. Her best advice for new sewers, and one she shares with her interns, “Ask as many questions as possible and watch tutorials. And a weirdly specific tip, the Readers Digest Guide to Sewing, is the book I recommend to everyone from new sewers to my interns. Easy to follow with tons of info.”

Samantha’s next venture is exciting JUKI Lovers! You’ll be able to join Samantha soon, and in her favorite hobby, on her new YouTube series where she critiques costumes in science fiction media.

“I’m a huge geek, always have been, and I love analyzing story and world-building through what the people in the stories are wearing. I started the channel at the beginning of the pandemic, and it’s been so much fun!”

We’re so excited to have Samantha on board and can’t wait for the next project! Follow along with her sewing journey and more on our JUKI Ambassador site today here!