Jennifer Stanley brings message of empowerment, social change to the runway
April 20, 2021 — DENTON — For TWU fashion student Jennifer Stanley, who designs under the moniker Jen•Ley, runway events are more than a showcase of her work. They also provide an important platform to advocate for the support of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
As a young mother and survivor of abuse and assault herself, she views the premieres of her collections as defining moments in her rise to rebuild her life and reimagine her future.
During her sophomore year at TWU, Stanley discovered she was pregnant and left school to work full-time to help provide for her son. "Throughout my relationship, my husband was violent and abusive towards me, but I didn’t realize in the beginning because I was not educated on domestic violence and abuse. It progressively got worse, and I made the decision to leave him soon after my son was born," she said. Suddenly a homeless mother of a seven month-old, she decided to return to TWU, where Family Housing placed her in an apartment on her first Mother’s Day.
"I have had the tremendous support of my professors, fellow students and family housing to complete my degree. Since being back in school, I have created two collections for different fashion shows independently, including one last fall to raise awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault."
In Fall 2019, Stanley premiered her three-piece collection, “Rise of Venus” (pictured right), at Fashion for Good’s Celebrate Texas event in Houston. The runway collection highlighted designs from established and emerging local artists while promoting an industry culture of sustainability, inclusion, accessibility and philanthropy.
In Fall 2020, she showed her “OVERCOME” collection in the Fashion by Texas Austin Fashion Week. Her designs included garments printed with the handwriting and thumbprints of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Stanley will graduate in May, and she looks forward to using her fashion degree to continue to make a difference in her community, as a designer and educator. After working as a student assistant in the Fashion and Textiles Department at TWU, she discovered a passion for teaching, and will pursue a graduate degree at the University of North Texas in the fall.
Page last updated 10:38 AM, October 5, 2021