1 in 300: Blu Gaines finds creativity in every fiber of their being



Junior Blu Gaines of Shrewsbury, center, designs and sews their own clothes, including the dress that they wore to the 2022 Winter Ball.

Ori Rosmarin

Junior Blu Gaines of Shrewsbury has an unsuspected superpower: a constantly developing wardrobe that can and will never go out of style.

With the rise of fast fashion, any trendy blouse, accessory or t-shirt can decrease in value within weeks. This has led some teenagers to struggle with maintaining their own personal clothing style without fear of their wardrobe becoming outdated. Blu Gaines practices an environmentally friendly solution: making clothes entirely from scratch.

Gaines’ fascination with fashion design derived from a passion for engineering. After recognizing their dislike for the mechanical, water and oil industries, they soon began to notice beloved elements of engineering incorporated in fashion design.

“I realized I loved doing it and that design was an engineering of its own kind,” Gaines said. “That kind of motivated me because you’re just looking at what’s around you and realizing, ‘wait it’s gonna work.’”

Gaines has been sewing alongside their grandmother since fifth grade, spending the years since developing their own personal style through their original creations.

“I started with straight pillow sack dresses, nothing special,” Gaines said. “But once I got my own sewing machine I started making things more easy to wear.”

When designing for both themselves and others’, Gaines’ main concern is creating a piece that will foster feelings of confidence and comfort. They tend to implement their personal favorite trends into a lot of their pieces, such as high-waisted bottoms, puff sleeves and off-the-shoulder tops.

“I like to design things that make you feel good about what you’re wearing. It’s about feeling comfortable in your skin and accentuating who you already are.”

Several pieces stand out to Gaines among their many designs, one of which being a collection of fleece scarves made for each of their friends.

“It’s my favorite thing to see one or two of my friends wearing something I made them and notice that they still have it,” Gaines says.