Freshman Daniel Lim conforms to little else when he’s designing
Fifth grade. What are most of us doing in fifth grade? Playing outside? Playing with toys? What about designing and making a dress for your sister’s doll? Not many of us can say that we have, but freshman Daniel Lim has.
“It was a pretty normal day, my mom and dad were gone and my sister was watching me,” Lim said. “I got pretty bored and so I went exploring around my house. I found an ancient needle and thread and some old cloth. I decided, ‘What else is there to do?’, and began the dress that I planned to give to my sister.”
“It was pretty bad,” he said, laughing at the memory. “Doing anything by hand is hard, and I had basically no experience at that point. The dress fell apart pretty fast but when my mom got home I showed it to her and she told me that I had potential. That was really the beginning for design and me. I also learned that even though sometimes things fall apart, you can still benefit from them.”
Lim has always been this way: taking problems in stride, growing and learning from them. That incident was Lim’s first attempt at fashion designing, but it wouldn’t be his last.
Since that first dress Lim has progressed to designing clothes for people, clothes that stay together to say the least.
The life of a male teenage fashion designer isn’t an easy one, but Lim stays positive.
“I’ve found that once you accept that not everyone is going to love you, their opposition starts to make you stronger.”
Conformity. This means changing how you think, or act, so that you can be like everyone else. Conformity is rampant in high school and so people like Lim, who is a self-labeled nonconformist, are sometimes teased or harassed.
“Of course I’ve been made fun of,” Lim said, “but it’s just like everything else in life, you can choose to let it bother you, or you can let it make you stronger.”
The first opinions of Lim are incredibly similar. “Nice, but a bit eccentric,” said freshman Keara Mickelson.
“Different, and a bit unusual,” said freshman Jake Siegel.
“….Special….” said sophomore Griffin Overbye.
But when they get to know him, most opinions change.
“He’s his own person,” said Siegel. “And he really cares about other people. He’s a great friend to lean on when things are tough for you.”
“When I got to know him better we became really close,” she said. “He’s passionate and serious about his future career choices, which I can identify with. It’s hard to see that right away but once you get to know him, you can see it pretty clearly.”
Lim’s passion for his future is pushing him to places where others don’t dare to go. This summer Lim is spending two weeks at a design camp at the Parsons School of New Design in New York City. Parsons has educated designers such as Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu and Amy Astley.
“Going to Parsons is an unbelievable opportunity,” Lim said. “I can’t wait to be surrounded by people who have the same passions I have, and to get the chance to learn and grow in huge leaps.”
Parsons has long been a dream of Lim’s, and this camp just puts him one step closer to eventually going there for college.
“[College] is something that I have really looked forward to for a long time,” said Lim. “I can’t wait to be in an environment where everyone is like me: passionate, artistic and driven.”
Lim’s recent artistic activity is enough to make any Parson grad look twice.
“Recently I’ve been doing a bunch of really diverse projects,” said Lim. “I’m working on a dress made only out of starburst wrappers, I’ve been reconstructing old shirts into new skirts and shirts and most recently, I’ve been remaking ancient wedding outfits for a Bible project.”
Lim works hard in his free time on all of these projects, sometimes staying up late trying to figure out how to make a skirt look the best it can.
“I love working on all of these projects, so the time that I spend on them goes by in a flash.” Lim said. “Of course I want to be known for my clothes one day, but I also hope that my view on life and people, will someday help somebody else.”
Lim’s unique talent is something that makes him stand out in a crowd, but it’s his view on life, his focus and his refusal to give up that really sets him apart from others his own age.