Colum Alum Highlight: Anfernee Pettis

Meet Anfernee Pettis, a recent Class of 2020 graduate. Anfernee graduated this spring with a BFA in Fashion Design. We reached out to Anfernee about his time at Columbia and to share any advice to students. Check out what Anfernee had to say about his journey!

Attending Columbia, it was definitely an experience for the books. Being a transfer art major going into fashion design, I was kind of off to a rough start with it being a new journey for me. I was basically two years behind, by me going to community college first and not taking any fashion classes.

If I could send a message to the freshmans or transfer students coming in I would say , get active and involved around campus as fast as you can. The more you can practice on techniques the better you can present your portfolio. Get into student government and just know the facilities that Columbia have to offer.

I became fashion studies student senator at the end of my junior year. Going to student government association meetings (SGA meetings), I seen so many dope events that I never knew Columbia had. Even though I learned later about different facilities such as the digital printing center (DPC), and the fabrication facility, I was still able to incorporate it inside of my senior thesis collection.

Another major perk that Columbia has to offer is so many study abroad programs that you can take advantage of. I’ve been to New York, San Francisco and the United Kingdom while going to Columbia, still learning about the fashion world. Spending 3 weeks studying in Bath Spa, was unbelievable, learning screen and foil printing, devoré, laser cutting fabric, and fabric manipulation. Amidst of studying, I traveled with friends to London and Paris to experience the amazing cultural living. I picked up information and assets on the most proficient method to begin a business. In 2019, I began my brand called The Designer Dream ( with my brother as a co-proprietor.

“The Designer Dream Lives Within All Of Us. It Is the Creative Flame And Lust That Innovators Are Born With. The  Ability To Transform The Simplest Mediums And Make It Breathtaking. The Designer Dream Is A Rush… A Continuance Overflow Of Inspiration… Innovation… An Everlasting Undercurrent That Resides In The Soul Of Any Artist. Individuality Spills Over Into Other Aspects Of Our Lives – Molding And Shaping Life As We Know It. The Designer Dream You.”

Applying techniques and knowledge to what I learned in classes such as customer profiles, making mission and vision statements, tech pack down to the cost sheets, makes your brand run a lot smoother.  Maintaining a business is never simple however, getting the opportunity to do what you love is consistently a reward. Getting the opportunity to attempt to get the hang of everything Columbia brings to the table can be overpowering and energizing now and again. Just take advantage of all the resources from the faculty down to the students as soon as possible and you will have one of the best experiences of your life.

I’m proud to say I graduated Columbia College Chicago with a BFA in Fashion Design!

See more photos of Anfernee’s work here.