A Michiana fashion designer is making waves in her community

Timeless, sophisticated, minimal yet edgy is how Paris Jo describes her style as she designs custom gowns and ready to wear fashion for women.

The South Bend native says from an early age, she would channel her creativity by making her own toys and baby doll clothes. But she never thought a fashion career was an option.

“And I never thought I wanted to be a designer. I just always thought sewing and creating was just a hobby because growing up in a small town, you don’t see many designers here and I never thought of it as a career path. I just always saw it as a hobby,” Jo said.

Jo attended Purdue University to major in psychology but as soon as she learned about the apparel design and technology major, she quickly made the switch. She says it was her first exposure to creating garments, where she learned to express herself through both the technical and fashion vision.

Jo had two choices after graduation: either return home to start her own business or find a fashion company to work for. She committed to her dream and business. And off the bat, she started getting busy in Chicago and Indianapolis hosting fashion shows.

It’s been seven years since Jo had her last fashion show, but she says now she’s ready.

“It is finally my time to show what I can do. Even though I have custom clients and I put my work out there, a lot of is still in the vision of the client. I have yet to really show a collection of my baby, my dreams and my sketches,” Jo said.

A 2020 show that Jo had planned had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. However, she says the time has come to showcase more of her line.

Although she is still organizing the details, she plans to have the show in September of 2024. According to Jo, people can expect to see a different, never before-seen side of her clothing.

Jo says she has always viewed south bend as home and has no plans on leaving.

“Everyone is like ‘Why aren’t you in New York? Why aren’t you in Chicago or LA or the big cities?’ But it’s so big for me to come back to my community and give to my community. Even though this isn’t the fashion capital of the world, it’s still a growing community. And I still made a name for myself here,” Jo said.

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