A cross-country and outdoor track runner herself, Mickalonis sought to find practical solutions to some of the challenges of running, especially for longer distances. Two of the looks she designed for her senior thesis were chosen by designer Thom Browne to be featured in FIT’s 2019 Future of Fashion runway show. One was a vest paired with mesh leggings that have a panty attached. Under the vest, made of PVC plastic (a plastic polymer commonly known as vinyl), is a spandex sports bra that has a crisscross back. Connected to the garment is a water reservoir that holds a liter of water with a hose attachment to drink from.
The other look had a water reservoir as well as a pouch that could be filled herbs such as rosemary, peppermint and lemongrass for aromatherapy. Rosemary dilates blood vessels, reduces joint inflammation, and enhances memory and concentration. Peppermint helps relieve menstrual cramps, cures spasms and muscle pains, and aids breathing during exercise. Lemongrass reduces sweating and helps with anxiety. These practical benefits could help an athlete to perform at their best for drinking.
Both of the looks Mickalonis designed created a splash: the garment with the water reservoir was chosen for the Future of Fashion show, and the bodysuit with the reservoir and herbal pouches was chosen for a special display at the Neiman Marcus in Paramus, New Jersey.
Toward the end of her studies, Mickalonis took a children’s wear internship with Tommy Hilfiger, assisting in designing the spring 2020 collection. After graduating, she became an assistant designer at the Haddad Group, designing children’s athletic wear. She continues to create her own athletic wear as well.