Justin Adams ’23

Bode, New York, NY

This summer, I had the tremendous pleasure of working for the on-the-rise luxury brand, Bode. Bode was founded by Emily Adams Bode Aujla in 2016, beginning as a small atelier that created custom orders out of vintage and antique textiles all made by Emily herself. Her work offered a breath of fresh air to fashion with its approach to luxury; so much so that Emily was able to cultivate Bode into a full clothing line two years later. Emily prides her Bode work on one core virtue: preservation. Her clothing is made from textiles dating back to the early 1900s, and every piece carries its own sense of nostalgia. Whether that be a quilt from a grandmother in Massachusetts or a tablecloth from an antique dealer in Spain, Emily sees a beautiful sense of value in textiles that most would quickly throw in the garbage. With her ability to transform these vintage textiles into stunning garments, Emily has established Bode as a household name among other luxury brands in the fashion industry.

Photo of Justin Adams.My role as a studio intern involved mending vintage textiles, sourcing trims and fabrics, helping to create in-house samples, working on custom projects and maintaining our endless stock of antique textiles. Due to my previous graphic design experience, my studio manager entrusted me with a special long-term project that was released within the pre-fall 2022 collection. I was tasked with creating 150 one-of-a-kind tees—dubbed Tommy Tees—that were decorated with a unique collage made from cut-out patches from vintage tees sourced from all over the United States. The process consisted of sourcing the tees from vintage stores, antique dealers and other connections from around the country and getting them transported to our NYC studio. Once they landed, they were cleaned and pressed; then I went through each individual tee and cut out patches of motifs and slogans to create an eye-catching collage. After two months of repeating this process, I handed the Tommy Tees off to our creative team to be photographed for our website and social media pages, and then we shipped the units out to our two flagship boutiques and warehouse fulfillment center. The project was a great success, and I received approval from Emily Bode herself on what I worked tirelessly all summer to create. It was wonderful and gratifying to hear from her that what I had created met her expectations, especially considering that this was my first official fashion-design project. I believe working at Bode this summer has built the foundation for myself as a fashion designer, and I could not be more thankful for this opportunity. I intend to keep this momentum going for the next few years, with the ensuing chapter being a semester abroad studying fashion in London.

I’d like to formally thank Bode, Mr. and Mrs. Case, and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for allowing me to pursue my dreams as a fashion designer, and I’m excited for all of you to see what I can do over the next few years.