Today we’d like to introduce you to Jac Benford.
Hi Jac, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a recent SCAD graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design with a minor in Menswear in June 2022. My sewing journey began at the ripe old age of seven.
My mother and grandmother nurtured this interest and eventually taught me to embroider, crochet, knit, and replace buttons by hand, darn socks, and how to read commercial patterns.
I currently use my grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s quilting swatches, scissors, pinking shears, pincushions, tracing wheels, crochet hooks, and knitting needles.
I have made pillowcases, my high school graduation dress, aprons, hand-embroidered handkerchiefs, and blankets on my grandmother’s and great aunt’s 1975 Singer sewing machines. My great-grandmother was a quilter and I still enjoy and appreciate her handmade patchwork and rag-pile quilts.
When I graduated high school, I decided to study fashion in college because I thought I wanted to own my own fashion line. However, that dream shifted when I realized I absolutely did not want to do business math. While enrolled at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I embraced a new passion for tailoring, pattern making, and garment construction.
I will say one thing: My story is really only just beginning as I have only just completed my formal education.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Well, life always has bumps in the road.
I was in college during a global pandemic in which my fashion and construction classes were virtual. My college experience was interrupted when I moved out of the dorms and back into my parent’s house. The living room became my studio for the 18 months I was home.
I did encounter major culture shock as I transitioned from a streamlined, conservative homeschool environment to a vast international and diverse university setting. I learned to open my mind and broaden my view as I navigated my new surroundings and experiences. That transition catapulted my ongoing journey of self-discovery.
I had an interest in acting and modeling when I was small, auditioning for several commercials in New York and Tennessee. However, I chose not to continue after being in a car accident at age 9 that left me with lifelong scars.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
In school, I explored creative pattern making and technical design, discovered menswear and began learning about tailoring. For my senior project, I designed a menswear collection titled Pomegranate Magic, in which I loosely used myself as inspiration.
I wanted each look and garment to represent the absolute joy of being one’s best self. Since the pomegranate seed symbolizes growth and fertility, I used it to represent growing into one’s best self-me growing into my best self, and accepting it. I am very proud of my senior collection as it shows my skills in fashion.
At the end of the summer, I aim to begin my career as a patternmaker or tailor. In a few years, I am planning to attend the Savile Row Academy to receive a Bespoke Tailoring Certificate with the hope that I can work as a tailor globally.
Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I am grateful to my professors as they encouraged me and provided valuable instruction.
On a personal note, I am thankful for their support and advice as it helped me flourish, like the theme of my senior collection. Also, I am glad to have made lifelong personal and professional connections with fellow alumni.
Fun fact #1: I love to travel and have been to 13 countries!
Fun fact #2: I was the winner of Lilburn Idol (a local singing competition) at age 8. I have a brick engraved with my name in Lilburn Park (my neighborhood park) in Gwinnett County, Georgia, permanently connecting me to my community!
Fun fact #3: I played the violin at a birthday celebration for a group of centenarians when I was 7!
- Website: jachopper.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jac_hopper
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jac.Hopper18
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jac_hopper
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK5xu9vqQFgbcq6onFEomzw