Jordyn Billings ‘22 is a sociology major and communications minor.
“I’m the kind of person that enjoys dressing up every day. I’m big on not just having ‘special occasion’ outfits, because I think life is a special occasion. Especially if you’ve had a lot of difficulties in life, going forth prepared for the day as if something great is going to happen really helps.
My love for fashion and creating started when I was a kid. My mom’s worked in retail my whole life, so I’ve always been surrounded by the fashion industry a little bit. I think fashion for me has always been about creative expression, but sometimes a form of escapism as well. A lot of points in my life didn’t necessarily match up with how I presented myself to the world, but fashion is what made it easier.
I got my first sewing machine when I was twelve, and I’ve been sewing off and on since then. But sophomore year of college I got really into it. Around that time, with the pandemic, I had lots of time to explore creatively, when before I had been very busy with school and didn’t have a lot of time for creative projects. Especially in that early stage of COVID—I was in the house for six months, not going out, barely seeing anybody—so I finally had time to just make a full two-piece bandana set in my room.
So many people say, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, which I think is very true—obviously you shouldn’t judge people by how they look. But I also think that there is a lot of power in the kind of ways that we decide to craft ourselves and present ourselves to the world—whether it’s through representing yourself, your culture, your gender, or your passions in life. A lot of that is shown through how you dress and how you style yourself. For me, that is where a lot of my interest in fashion lies.
It’s so much more than clothing to me. The sociology perspective is always what made fashion interesting for me—again, connecting those ideas of how we present ourselves to the world based on our identity. I think clothing is such a huge factor in our histories, our identities, our cultural makeup. And so to me, sociology and fashion—they are connected.
My business is “Jordyn Imani Creations”. Imani is my middle name. The reason it’s “creations” and not “fashion” or “designs” is because that business started in high school, when I was a ceramic artist. I was an art student for all four years, and I used to sell pottery through craft shows and fairs. And now I do clothes and accessories.
I think the reason ceramics and clothing always made sense to me is because both are functional forms of art. A painting is functional in the sense that you get enjoyment from looking at it. But you just hang it up, versus a mug, or a bag, or a dress—they’re things that you can enjoy visually, but also put to use in your everyday life. That’s something I love as a creator—that that it’s something bigger than me. I get to make it, but then it becomes a part of someone else’s life.”
You can find more of Jordyn’s work on her Instagram @jordynimanicreations.