CCAD international student: Susana Madrid

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A place you have fond memories of from trips over the years can suddenly seem difficult to describe on paper.

That's why, when Susana Madrid chose her favorite family vacation spot of Cartagena, Colombia, as inspiration for her senior fashion design collection, she asked a friend who had travel plans there to take all the photos she could.

Madrid pored over the images she received electronically and honed in on a colorful marketplace to create vibrant looks with a carefree sprit.

"There are these ladies on the beach who wear really bright colors like this and have the fruit on top of their head," she said. "I love that. It's one of my biggest inspirations."

Madrid grew up in Colombia but, ironically, she was born in Columbus. Her parents were here while her father completed his masters, but returned to Colombia a few months after Madrid was born.

They kept in touch with a friend who worked at CCAD, and when Madrid showed interest in attending art college, he suggested she apply.

"I've always liked art and making things, especially accessories," Madrid said as she sewed tiny pompoms of fabric to the vest she'll wear in the show. "I like detail and personality showing through."

Her parents and two siblings will attend the show this weekend. She's been e-mailing images of her work to her mother all year, she said.

After graduating, Madrid hopes to find work and continue studying in Europe, with an ultimate goal of becoming a haute-couture designer.

"It's a universal language," she said of fashion. "Everyone speaks it. You get the vibe."