Harper College

Harper Challenge

Harper Challenge is a yearly competition for local high school students. Students are challenged to create an original garment using a pattern provided by the Harper College Fashion Studies Department. Students who successfully complete their garments will have the opportunity to show them on the runway at our annual student-run Fashion Show. Awards are offered to the top 3 students in both the Creativity and Construction categories.

The goal of the Harper Challenge is to reach out to high school students and give them an opportunity to see what it would be like to be a student in the Fashion Department at Harper College. Fashion shows are the most fundamental element of the fashion industry and we invite industry experts to jury and participate in the one at Harper College every year. The fashion show gives Harper students professional industry experiences they can put on their resumes and portfolios and prepares them to enter the fashion job market. Harper Challenge gives that opportunity to motivated high school students as well.


The theme of the 2024 Fashion Show is “WORN, TORN, REBORN – a memoir” which focuses on sustainable practices and encourages future fashion professionals to incorporate upcycling into their creative process. We want to do our part for the planet and reduce the fashion footprint by not consuming new materials but instead repurposing old materials that otherwise would have been destined for the landfill. Students at both Harper College and those in high school are not allowed to buy new fabric and instead must use only second-hand fabric and materials. Students can use pre-made garments from thrift stores or their own closets, as long as they are deconstructed first. Upcycling requires creativity and thinking outside the box, but we are confident that our students have what it takes. We are excited to see what you come up with!


Fashion Show: Thursday, May 16th, at 7:00 pm.

Garment drop-off: Thursday, May 2nd.

More detailed information will follow in February 2024.

More Info:

High School students can register for the Harper Challenge here.

For more details check out the Harper Challenge Flyer.

See the technical flats and photos of Harper Challenge students and models on the runway in 2023.

Past Fashion Shows

Last Updated: 6/24/24