Ball State junior Christopher Atkinson knew at an early age that design was going to be his future. 

At just 10 years old, Atkinson decided to start taking fashion and design seriously, creating travel bags and finding inspiration in the everyday things he was involved in.

“I was always interested in how things were designed, not necessarily how clothes were designed, but even things like communication," he said. "I have always liked movement."

Now with more than 10 years of design under his belt, Atkinson has built a name for himself here on campus and in the Indiana area, entering different fashion shows on campus and building relationships with fashion department professors and students. 

Fashion illustration professor Valerie Birk said he is very serious and creative with his approach.

When it comes to Atkinson’s designs, he said he believes in mixing elements: patterns and things that don’t normally go together are what capture his style most. He draws inspiration for his creations from simple things like a color, a song, a rhythm or even the movement of the air. 

Atkinson said he found he designs for the underdog — his muse. 

He is currently working on a collection with a fellow fashion student Camilla Johnson, inspired by his French and African roots. He said he hopes to use this collection to base a portfolio around. The show is set to debut in spring of next year, with a theme of stepping away from the mindset of the everyday consumer.

Atkinson said he has strong views on his ideas on the fashion industry, and where he sees it heading. He said the world is full of fast fashion, where clothes don’t mean as much as they used to.

“We throw them away after a certain amount of time, so they no longer have that quality that they once had," he said. "They’ve become more disposable.” 

He said in the future, he hopes society becomes more aware of the product by caring more about the fabrics and quality of the clothes and how much work is spent to make them, rather than throwing them out.

Although most design students hope to own their own companies and houses, as well as freelance, Atkinson wants to one day work on the design team for Nike Athletics, whether it is in the United States or abroad.

Atkinson said he is drawn to the brand because of its innovative use of technology. 

"They make pieces for performance," he said. 

As a consumer of their product, Atkinson said working for Nike Athletics would be the best way to get his foot in the door in terms of the fashion industry, as well as build inspiration for his own future solo career.