University Alumni Spotlight

For Alexis Marcy (Class of 2010), one of the highlights of working at Vivienne Westwood in London is having the opportunity to help create unique fashions that she will eventually get to see on the red carpets of award shows around the world. This rarefied world may seem like a long way from her upbringing in the High Desert of Victorville, CA, but from a very young age, Alexis’s mother helped to nurture her creativity and love of sewing.

“Every time I had a birthday party my mom would get me something sewing related, like a sewing machine or fabrics,” Alexis said. “Since I came from a small town that didn’t have many clothing stores, everyone wore the same outfits, unless you were lucky and shopped ‘down the hill’ for clothes.”

The desire to wear more unique outfits as a high school student helped to spur on Alexis’ interest in making her own clothes and unleashing her own creativity and styles.

“I started to go to thrift shops to buy boys t-shirts, costume jewelry and cool vintage bags,” she said. “I would then alter the shirts to make them unique, wear funky jewelry and rock odd bags.”

Thankfully for her, Alexis’ high school had a sewing class and, as a senior, she began to expand her skills as a fashion artist. “Once my sisters moved away to college, my mom let me use their room as my own sewing room, since then I was obsessed with sewing and making clothes.”

After high school, Alexis knew that she wanted to continue to develop her interest in fashion and turn it into a career so she began researching different colleges and universities that offered fashion programs. “I came across Woodbury University and it just felt right. It wasn’t too far from home and it was the only four-year program I could find without leaving the state. I went on a tour with my mom and she thought it was perfect for me. The campus felt safe and the atmosphere was comfortable.”

Alexis had a mix of emotions leaving her small town to come to Woodbury. She was excited but nervous. “I was glad that I had previous sewing experience, but it wasn’t necessary since Woodbury’s faculty taught everyone from scratch.” At Woodbury, Alexis learned a number of industry skills and techniques that she has continues to use today in her fashion career.

“I took my courses very seriously and loved to learn as much as I could,” she said, “With my free time I would work in the fashion archive collection. I loved it! I got to work with beautiful vintage pieces and help with the exhibits held on campus. This became my main source of inspiration and helped me develop the sense of style in my collections.”

Alexis also won some awards as a student, including “Best Experimental Design,” “Best Senior Theme Presentation,” and “Outstanding Fourth Year Student.”

After graduating from Woodbury in 2010, Alexis did freelance work, taught sewing classes and worked with big and small companies. She took part in fashion shows and sold her own dresses. After gaining several years of experience in Los Angeles, Alexis landed her current job in London where, for more than a year, she has worked as an assistant manager at Vivienne Westwood Couture, working with the couture department and celebrity clientele.

“It’s great to be a part of a small creative team that develops new red carpet dresses, bridal looks and couture samples,” Alexis said. “It has been wonderful working and attending both London and Paris Fashion Week shows with the team and flying to attend fittings in Vienna and Budapest. The thing that excites me the most about the day is seeing Vivienne in the studio overlooking projects and giving advice to the designers.”

For Alexis, her experience at Woodbury, combined with hard work and her passion for creativity, was a catalyst for launching her exciting career.

“Everyone’s college experience is different,” she said. “But it definitely shapes who you are and I have no regrets when I look back at my time at Woodbury University.”

Projects: Harrods NHS Scrubs

Being a part of the Harrods family is really a dream. Our Bespoke Alterations department all came together during the first lock-down and created over 350 sets of scrubs. We put on a huge production, whilst social distancing of course, and managed to cut all patterns in sizes S-XXX, each size had over 12 pieces on the double! One team cut, another prepared the pieces by fusing and over locking and another sent out the sets to be sewn by the rest of the team safely at home. It was a wild ride, but completely worth being a part of. I hope all NHS workers, our true heroes, are keeping safe during this pandemic.

Teaching: Basic Sewing Classes

It was such a pleasure hosting a private Sewing course at a quaint cottage in Essex. All students brought in their personal machines, machines they have purchased but never learned how to use. They were eager to begin learning how to sew, and each and every one of them did a fabulous job! They have even been using their skills from this class and sewing on their own during lock-down. I had so much fun teaching this group along with eating a yummy quiche, homemade cake and coffee. I love to teach!

Weddings: Mr. & Mrs. Egg

It was such a pleasure creating this beautiful bride’s bespoke wedding gown. She was so lovely and was a part of the process from start to finish. Cassee had a vision for her wedding dress and once we put our heads together this original Alexis Evelyn wedding dress came to life. It was an honour being a part of this sweet couples special day. I wish the happy couple lots of love and happiness in their future together!

Weddings: Mr. & Mrs. Hinton

I was an Alexis Evelyn bride, no pun intended! Our perfect little pub wedding was one of my favourite days, merging our friends and family from all over. I decided to make my own dress and head piece…along with the invitations, decorations and pretty much everything else lol. My dress was a bit of a shout out to my senior collection at Woodbury University. I loved my dress and of course, it had pockets for my lippy. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect day and a more perfect dress!

Weddings: Mr. & Mrs. Castro

I am so happy to be a part of this Castro wedding. Kim was such a beautiful bride and all of her 7…yes 7 bridesmaids! I was lucky enough to make all the bridesmaids dress, and my mom even made the adorable flower girls dress. The wedding was absolutely beautiful, and the fun part was bringing my mom along so we can see all the girls in our dresses. I wish the happy couple a life of happiness and joy!

Weddings: Mr. & Mrs. Carey

I had the unique opportunity to create my beautiful older sister’s wedding dress. Bernadette has always been supportive of me sewing and designing and wanted to have her special dress made by her little sister. It was a fun and exciting time to help her with planning the wedding, designing her invitations, making her bespoke wedding dress and also creating all 4 bridesmaid custom dresses. It is something I will always cherish being a part of, and I hope my sister and brother in law are happy and in love forever.