AMES, Iowa — threadit will launch its spring fashion line in conjunction with the “Spring into Arts Festival” Friday, April 5, at the Iowa State University Design on Main Gallery, 203 Main St. in downtown Ames.

threadit is a full-service tailoring and custom design studio founded on Main Street in 2016 by Iowa State graduate Janae Smith. The studio will launch “Shapla,” a spring line inspired by fair-trade Bangladeshi fabrics, at 8 p.m. in the gallery, 203 Main St.

The shapla (a water lily) is the national flower of Bangladesh. The event will feature 13 different garments designed by Smith, Basilia Koster and Ariana Engelman. The garments will be worn and displayed by live models, with a silent auction of the clothing from 8:30–9:30 p.m.

“ISU Design on Main is proud to partner with threadit to enhance the cultural vibrancy of downtown Ames and celebrate together with them,” said Catherine Reinhart, Design on Main Gallery director. “It is truly inspiring to see young business owners who are promoting ethical fashion in engaging new ways. We welcome this and future collaborations.”

About the designers

Smith received a bachelor of science in apparel, merchandising and design from Iowa State in 2016 and has a love of sustainable fashion. She is very active in the community and can be found performing in local poetry shows and Ames intramural leagues, practicing yoga and drinking coffee, and frequenting local music shows.

Koster received a BS in apparel, merchandising and design from ISU in 2017 and has worked for threadit for about eight months. She is the mother of an 18-month-old daughter and enjoys taking walks and long boarding with her family. Koster also serves as an instructor for the Kranto Education Alliance after-school program in Des Moines, teaching about sewing and the fashion industry.

Engelman is a recent high school graduate who works as an apprentice with threadit. She has been sewing and creating clothing designs since she was 12 years old. In her free time she enjoys painting and making designs for her etsy store. She volunteers as a costume designer for local youth theater groups, which she formerly participated in.

About the ISU Design on Main Gallery

An extension of Iowa State’s College of Design, Design on Main seeks to strengthen creative connections between the university and the community through arts education, artist-led projects and interactive events.


Janae Smith, threadit, janae@threaditames.com
Catherine Reinhart, Design on Main Gallery, designonmain@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu