JUKI Spotlight: Designing with Kiana Bonollo!

In this month’s spotlight, we are introducing Kiana Bonollo! Fashion designer, YouTuber, and TikToker, Kiana has grown in popularity in the last couple of years due to her videos showcasing apparel projects and behind-the-scene how-tos for new sewists. Follow along today as we talk to Kiana about her journey in sewing and how she grew to the 400k audience she has now!

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

From a young age, Kiana always had a curiosity for sewing. Her earliest memory was borrowing her mother’s sewing machine and altering her clothes while creating skirts from scratch! Later on, she would take her first sewing class, a week-long course on sewing basics, where she began with making pillowcases like so many of us do. Following her interest, she went on to take apparel classes in high school, finding she had a true talent for the hobby and diving into the journey. She began learning how to create patterns and learning complex skills she hadn’t tried before. College would be no different; continuing her studies in the fashion design industry, she has continued to grow her skills and talent, creating new patterns and projects for her audience and shop.

Using fashion as a form of expression, Kiana loved that fashion design allowed you to imagine anything you wanted and create it. Like so many of us, she struggled with inspiration in the past but finds that her favorite work to design are those pieces that she knows she will wear and show off in the real world! Focusing on projects that bring her happiness, her patterns range from loungewear to evening wear, a versatile selection that her followers love. 

When asked about how she chooses which patterns will be sold, “It’s really important to me that I take into consideration what my customers are suggesting and asking of me, so if a lot of my customers are asking for a prom dress- I’m going to make them a prom dress.”

Following her ideas and likes, she pulls from her customer’s suggestions and creates projects that align with their wants and her taste. It’s here that she’s been able to compromise on what’s highly requested and what she truly enjoys designing, creating that relationship with her customers, so many shops want to build.

Kiana describes her style as “edgy, but still tailored and chic.” However, finding it boring to stick to one aesthetic, she likes to dabble outside her comfort zone and enjoys mixing different design styles and aesthetics to create fun looks! With so many different style aesthetics and designs, she doesn’t let one style hold her in a box.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

With an audience of over 400k across platforms, it’s amazing to see what was accomplished in a couple of short years. Kiana’s page quickly gained popularity by opening her YouTube account in May 2020 due to her easy-to-follow and straightforward “how-to” videos and project compilations. When she first began her online page, she would put in 40 hours a week designing, editing, and creating, treating it as a full-time job. Feeling she needed to give herself a real chance, she dived into her work and focused on her dreams of working in social media and fashion design.

“I never imagined that my audience would grow to the size it currently is so fast, and I’m so grateful for everyone who has subscribed and liked my channel and followed me.”

For those out there who want to raise their following, Kiana advises finding your strengths and taking advantage of them! With so many talented artists and sewists in the world, it can be hard to distinguish yourself sometimes, but finding what you can offer that’s different or better from those out there will help you stand out. Kiana, for example, is known for her videos teaching sewist techniques and how to create different projects, focusing on her strengths of being a technical sewist and the joy she finds in educating others on her favorite hobby.

And a recommendation she has out there for those building their skills in sewing? Invest in a high-quality machine that you can also grow in too! Finding a sewing machine that can handle heavy-duty fabrics and stitches quickly and versatilely is perfect for those learning. They can upgrade their projects and skills without needing to upgrade their machine.

Kiana’s sewing table is always ready to work with her machines! Using the JUKI DX-2000QVP and a QVP serger, she’s prepared to create her silk gowns, cotton loungewear, and more. She loves recommending this machine to her followers who are serious about starting their journey. She states they’re great choices for intermediate and advanced sewers alike.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

Currently, her sewing table is being used for project requests and suggestions submitted by her followers. With the current pandemic closing shop for fashion shows in many cities, she’s been focusing on her customer base before planning to create another collection. Waiting for the world to feel a little safer, Kiana hopes to continue once fashion shows are back!

Besides her current wish for the runways to come back, Kiana hopes to launch a fashion design course one day and sell her fashion line. But for now, she’ll keep busy creating content for her followers and expanding her current business. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kiana and her fashion line!

To keep up with Kiana and her journey, click her profile below. And the next time you want to learn some fun fashion sewing tips, check out Kiana’s YouTube here!

Check out more from Kiana below!

Learn more about Kiana here!

Etsy Shop: Click here to visit!

Instagram: Click here to check out her latest projects!

Tiktok: Click here to see behind the scenes!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Adolfo Sanchez

Introducing Adolfo Sanchez, designer, and owner of the Adolfo Sanchez brand. Based in Los Angeles and focused on creating luxury designs, he founded his brand in June 2015. His fashion and style take you on a journey to a world of freedom where women dare to be strong and different. Understanding how saturated the fashion world has become, he shows people that there are still unique options available and his creations are one of them. 

Adolfo’s career started in 2006, where he began to grow his business into a brand that offers custom, ready-to-wear, accessories, bridal, and couture. His gowns are different from those commonly found in the Los Angeles area, focusing on luxury wear. Focusing on the intricacy and hand-beaded designs that need unique craftsmanship when creating his pieces, his gowns are bold and unique, perfect for those wishing to be different.

“I would have never thought that I would have ended up in this industry, but it just feels so right that I know it was meant to be,”

Getting to his current position in the fashion industry by taking risks and learning new techniques, Adolfo is constantly pushing his brand to the next level. By staying true to his passions and fighting for his final vision when creating, he’s able to present pieces he’s proud of. Thankful to his team, including seamstresses, pattern makers, and factory workers, he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support he received along the way and his motivation to create awe-inspiring pieces.

“I’m inspired by everything – people, places, music, and there is so much more to do that I sometimes wonder if I have become obsessed with this industry.”

We are so excited to have Adolfo on board. Follow along with our social media as we continue to update you on Adolfo and our other ambassadors! Learn more about Adolfo and our Ambassador team here https://jukiquilting.com/ambassadors today.

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: 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!