Design Innovation Student Spotlight - Kaycee Marshall, '19

Kent State fashion student designs apparel so women with disabilities can feel fashionable and comfortable. 



Kaycee Marshall, ’19, debuted her steampunk-inspired evening wear collection at the Kent State University Fashion School’s 2019 Annual Fashion Show, taking home the Niche Market Innovation Award and wrapping up a successful college career.

Marshall, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) graduate, designed an evening wear collection titled, “The Engine That Did It All”, created to that empower women in wheelchairs, allowing the wearer to gain confidence, feel beautiful and be fashionable. Marshall, who is a full-time wheelchair user herself, designed her garments to consider the user’s independence in dressing, using the bathroom and the transfer to and from a wheelchair.

“My hope with this collection is that it would start a conversation that people with disabilities are capable and are beautiful,” expressed Marshall. “Growing up, I would flip through magazines and I never felt that I found someone who looked like me, and even now it’s rare - you never really see that.”

Marshall was featured in a video from the Riley Children’s Health hospital in Indiana - a place that holds a special place her heart. Marshall was born with a spine that was not fully developed. This condition required her to spend many days and nights at Riley Children’s while she underwent several major surgeries (including open-heart surgery) over the course of her life. She thanks her doctors for giving her the chance to live her life and go off on her own to college and follow her dreams.

“Through their sewing and working on my body, it led to my independence, and then I was able to take that and sew and create this collection,” said Marshall.

During the hustle and bustle of the Fashion School's Annual Fashion Show, a small crew from NBC Universal’s “The TODAY Show”, interviewed Marshall about her award-winning collection and her journey so far, and captured her crowd-pleasing collection on the runway. You can view the NBC segment and view photos of Kaycee's collection at the 2019 Annual Fashion Show

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