Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Mackenzie Rodas


Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Mackenzie Rodas

March 8, 2023

Warwick Valley High School senior Mackenzie Rodas has come a long way as a fashion designer. From her start as 7-year-old tracing and coloring patterns, Mackenzie recently finished sewing her own prom dress.

“This year I have more of a creative design that fits my personality better,” said Mackenzie, who also made her dress for the Junior Prom. “It’s more intricate than the previous one, and the shape is different. There are a couple of different layers to it, and there’s a chain. It was difficult to balance all those elements, not just in terms of the design itself, but also in literally making it functional.”

Mackenzie traces her interest in fashion design to her mother, who worked as a seamstress. Seeing her mother’s old fashion drawings inspired Mackenzie to do the same.

Mackenzie took the Fashion Design course at WVHS as a sophomore. More recently she has taken courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology and at the Parsons School of Design. In college, Mackenzie plans to double major in fashion design and pre-law.

“What I love about fashion design is that it’s such a classic way to express yourself,” Mackenzie said.  “There are fashion designers who create clothing with the purpose of evoking a childhood nostalgia. And there are other designers who create more sustainable fashions.  I think it’s really interesting how you can send different messages through fashion, not just in the designs themselves, but also in how they’re presented on the runway or in exhibitions.”

One of Mackenzie’s favorite designers is Issey Miyake. She likes the minimalism of his designs and how they are also crisp and clean. Mackenzie also likes the theatrical runway shows of Alexander McQueen.

“Mackenzie always sets the bar high,” said WVHS art teacher Kristen Spano. “She continues to challenge herself and her art by taking pre-college classes. She continues to push herself and the boundaries of her art to create individuality within her work.” 

Mackenzie also enjoys painting and one of her still life works was chosen to be displayed at the Orange County Arts Council show at the Galleria at Crystal Run. She is also interested in 3D projects such as sculpting and carved a pumpkin for Warwick’s entry in the Crystal Spring Resorts’ annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.

As for her pre-law plans in college, Mackenzie describes herself as argumentative and is interested in political science and debating.

“I mostly want to dual major because I want to take that time to decide what career path I want to focus more on,” said Mackenzie, who is an officer of the Philosophy Club and a National Honor Society member. “At the end of it, if I feel like I have enough connections to sustainably pursue a career in fashion, then I’ll definitely do that. But if I don’t, I’ll have law school as a secondary option.”

Warwick Valley High School senior Mackenzie Rodas with some of her fashion design work on March 3, 2023.


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